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Global Modified Misery Index as a Barometer for Civil Unrest

January 27th, 2011 Michael McDonough Comments off

Social unrest in Tunisia has shone a spotlight on the country’s high inflation and unemployment, characteristics shared by many of its neighbors. The misery index developed by economist Arthur Okun traditionally adds a country’s inflation rate and unemployment to measure quality of life.

Bloomberg Brief modified this for the map below, adding in the Democracy Index as calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The following formula was used: Annual inflation + unemployment rate + (10 – EI U Democracy Index), where 10 represents a perfect democracy. The countries in orange and red represent those most at risk.

Tunisia and Egypt, which have already experienced unrest, scored 24.9 and 27.8, respectively in this calculation. Many other countries in the region also scored high. The global average is 19.3.

***This is an excerpt from an article in the Bloomberg Brief: Economics.  To subscribe to the newsletter please go to {BRIEF <GO>} on your terminal or www.bloomberg.com/brief

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