international comparisons

This tag is associated with 9 posts

World Bank opens access to WDI

The World Bank has opened access to a flagship dataset that was mostly closed. Until recently, only a fraction of the thousand-plus data series that comprise the World Development Indicators (WDI) were available to non-paying customers in advanced economies. As of April 10, 2010, the World Bank has opened access to the complete dataset.

Trade Cartograms at UseR! 2010

A bit of shameless self-promotion! I will be presenting my work on trade cartograms at UseR! 2010. I’ll update this with a link to the abstract when it is listed there. Earlier this year I posted on the use of cartograms to visualize dyadic trade flows. About UseR! useR! 2010, the R user conference, will … Continue reading

Export Trade Clusters

This post, as with the prior ones on trade clusters, aims to help visualize patterns of trade in the OECD from 50 years of partner trade statistics. The data is rich, meaning we should be able to develop rich intuition by exploring it visually. These slides follow the method laid out in Jong-Eun Lee, “Two … Continue reading

Unilateral trade clusters using raw import flows

This set of dendrograms, again, is based on raw partner import flows from OECD. The dendrograms show complete linkages (all countries in a cluster exceed the threshold value for mutual trade flows), but the dyad is measured by the greater of the two trade flows. This gallery shows an annual series of dendrograms using that … Continue reading

Bilateral import clusters using raw trade flows

As promised, here are a new round of dendrograms using OECD trade data as a reciprocal distance measure among countries reporting. In trade, relationships matter, and these dendrograms show which relationships matter the most. Clusters are drawn by complete linkages, using the lesser of the two pairwise trade flows (greater notional distance). The important thing … Continue reading

Unilateral import clusters in international trade

As with yesterday, these graphics depict complete clusterings in international trade, treating the partner country’s share of total home country imports as a raw distance measure. The greater the share, the closer the two countries are. For visual clarity, I have used logarithmic scales; so the scale at left doesn’t have any concrete meaning. The … Continue reading

Where do spam statistics come from?

Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report seems to be the source of commonly quoted statistics about spam’s share of internet traffic. The ominous 97% figure is the fraction of email messages that are blocked by automated spam filters. The point of the statistic is not that spammers have overwhelmed the Internet’s fragile bandwidth; but rather that using … Continue reading

Numbers and Units in Political Risk Analysis

A major global vendor of political risk analytics gave a talk at the Fletcher School today. They rate political risks according to a 5-point scale, with copious documentation of how countries’ political life is compressed down into this one metric. As a colleague noted, nobody uses the political risk metric for anything, because it’s such … Continue reading


This is another great site for cartograms. The Worldmapper site has a wealth of world cartograms based on country statistics. For those of you that don’t remember, a cartogram begins with a base map, e.g., the Mercator projection of the earth. The cartogram distorts the map such that country boundaries remain contiguous, but the area … Continue reading


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