As a warm-up for the re-start of PO4730 in a couple of weeks, here are some short reads that are relevant to things we discussed last term.
For PO4730 students, you may be interested in Chris Dillow discussing “Measuring Inequality“.
For those taking classes (MSc and SS) with me who have upcoming assignments, you may find it interesting and/or helpful to take a look at some data that relates to some of the issues that we have been discussing this term.
As inequality has been a theme in both classes, I have uploaded an export of the “Top Incomes” data from Atkinson et al to the class WebCT pages. (It’s available from the web site directly, but the export can be slightly fiddly.) It is a .csv file that you should be able to open in any spreadsheet (e.g. Excel).
Klaus Armingeon and collaborators make available two data sets – “Comparative Political Data Set I (23 OECD Countries)” and “Comparative Political Data Set II (28 Post Communist Countries)” – on their website. This aggregates together data from a whole variety of sources. See the codebooks for details of the variables, but you’ll find measures of electoral turnout, female political representation, electoral proportionality, welfare spending, and numerous others. They provide the data in the Excel format.
The Quality of Government Insitute at Gothenburg makes available “The QoG Time-Series Data” that you can find by clicking on the “Data” tab to the left of the home page. This data set is even larger than the Armingeon et al ones, and covers many more variables as well as many more countries. Again, see the codebook. The file is available in the .csv format.
Frederick Solt provides “The Standardized World Income Inequality Database“.
For my inequality class, here are a few links to some brief bits of writing, audio, and video that relate to some of the issues we’ve been talking about for the past few weeks.
A few more bits of potential inspiration for the PO4370 class, here, this time with a US focus:
Finally, via Matt Yglesias at Think Progess, a street protest with data:
For my “Politics of Inequality” class, it’s time to start thinking about the op-ed response assignment. You’ll find some op-eds in the ‘popular readings’ sections of the course reading list, but here are a few more I turned up this weekend.
- Samuel Brittan, The Financial Times, October 6, 2011: Call off the misguided crusade against ‘inequality’
- Ed West, The Daily Telegraph Blog, May 23, 2011: An end to poverty, inequality and nationalism – the secular Left’s Rapture is just as implausible
- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, October 28, 2011: Executive pay soars while the young poor face freefall. Where is Labour?
- Lynsey Hanley, The Guardian, October 20, 2011: Social mobility is not a myth
- Richard Littlejohn, The Daily Mail, August 12, 2011: The politics of envy was bound to end up in flames
- Richard Littlejohn, The Daily Mail, July 1, 2011: Winter of discontent? More like a summer of selfishness
- Melanie Philips, The Daily Mail, December 30, 2010: Sorry, Archbishop, but there IS a big difference between the deserving and undeserving poor
- Max Hastings, The Daily Mail, September 17, 2011: Looters in suits: Three years ago this week, Lehman Brothers crashed. Since then, Britain’s bankers have learnt nothing and have been let off the hook again
- Gene Kerrigan, The Irish Independent, September 25, 2011: Furthering inequality in divided society
- Paul Gillespie, The Irish Times, October 8, 2011: Criticism of capitalism itself needed
- Brian Nolan, The Irish Times, September 26, 2011: Recession has brought loss and deprivation but inequality has fallen
- Michael King, The Irish Times, September 1, 2011: Towards a more equal society
- Breda O’Brien, The Irish Times, August 13, 2011: Riots point to society’s broken moral compass
- John Waters, The Irish Times, August 12, 2011: Society pays high price for adopting materialism