Syndicate content


Data Lab Link Roundup: Analysing taxis, Ubers and bikes, the Economist on open data, simple explanations, digital archives, optimistic statisticians,, and lying with the y-axis

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Here are some (of the many) things that caught our attention last week:


Where are there laws against domestic violence?

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Français | 中文 | Español | العربية

Globally, the most common form of violence women experience is from an intimate partner. A recent report found that 127 out of 173 economies studied had laws on domestic violence, and in 72% of economies, protection orders can be used to limit an abuser's behavior. Read more.


Are we ready to embrace big private-sector data?

Andrew Whitby's picture

The use of big data to help understand the global economy continues to build momentum. Last week our sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, launched their own program in big data, with a slate of interesting speakers including Hal Varian (Google Chief Economist), Susan Athey (Professor at Stanford GSB and a former Microsoft Chief Economist) and DJ Patil (Chief Data Scientist of the United States).
The day's speakers grappled with the implications of big data for the Fund's bread-and-butter macroeconomic analysis--a topic of great interest to the World Bank Group too. Examples were presented in which big data is used to generate macroeconomic series that have traditionally been the preserve of national statistical offices (NSOs): for example, MIT's Billion Prices Project, which measures price inflation in a radically different way from traditional CPI statistics.

Should we continue to use the term “developing world”?

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: 中文

Comparing the classification of countries.

Humans, by their nature, categorize. Economists are no different. For many years, the World Bank has produced and used income classifications to group countries.  

The low, lower-middle, upper-middle and high income groups are each associated with an annually updated threshold level of Gross National Income (GNI) per-capita, and the low and middle income groups taken together are referred to in the World Bank (and elsewhere) as the “developing world.

This term is used in our publications (such as the World Development Indicators and the Global Monitoring Report) and we also publish aggregate estimates for important indicators like poverty rates for both developing countries as a group and for the whole world.

But the terms “developing world” and “developing country” are tricky: even we use them cautiously, trying to make it clear that we're not judging the development status of any country.

Income growth in Latin America has stopped being pro-poor during the slowdown

Oscar Calvo-González's picture
Also available in: Español | Portuguese

The team behind the World Bank’s LAC Equity Lab is starting this new blog series to showcase our favorite charts and visuals that help tell the story of recent developments in poverty and equity in Latin America and the Caribbean. We welcome your comments and ideas, and invite you to explore our LAC Equity Lab and World Bank Poverty websites to learn more.
In this first installment, we are tackling a pressing issue for the region – income growth and its implications on inequality.
Income growth in Latin America has stopped being pro-poor during the slowdown

Source: SEDLAC (World Bank and CEDLAS). Note: growth incidence curves (GIC) show the annualized growth rate of income for every percentile of the income distribution and are calculated using pooled harmonized data from 17 countries. In order to analyze the same set of countries every year, interpolation was applied when country data were not available for a given year.

Climate change's biggest effect on poverty? Agriculture.

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Français | Español

The biggest impact climate change will have on the poor will be through agriculture. Under a pessimistic "poverty" scenario with high climate change impacts, there could be more than 100 million additional people in poverty by 2030, largely due to changing crop yields and prices. Under an optimistic "prosperity" scenario, these effects are greatly reduced. Read more in the new "Shock Waves" report.


How we made #OpenIndia

Ankur N's picture

Cross posted from the End Poverty in South Asia blog

open india

It has been a season ripe with new ideas and shifts in the open data conversation. At the Cartagena Data Festival in April, the call for a country-led data revolution was loud and clear. Later in June at the 3rd International Open Data Conference in Ottawa there was an emphasis on the use of open data-beyond mere publishing.

Mulling on these takeaways, a logical question to ask may be: what would a country-focused data project that aims to put data to use look like?

How long does it take to start a business in your country?

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français | Español | 中文
One of the most interesting trends in Doing Business is the reduction in the number of days it takes to start a business across the world. Navigate through the graphic below using the arrows next to the captions and then select any countries or groupings you'd like to see with the dropdown menu at the bottom.

Starting a business gets easier around the world

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Español

On average, it took 20 days to start a business in 2015 vs 51 in 2003. The 2016 edition of Doing Business finds that low and middle income countries are making big strides in improving business climates. Notably, a total of 45 economies, 33 of which were developing economies, undertook reforms to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business. The report presents quantitative data on 189 economies, including many city-level analyses. You can download the report and the data behind it from the Doing Business website.

17 statistics for World Statistics Day (and why we need to invest in them)

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: 中文

Today’s celebration of World Statistics Day comes right after Sunday’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, last month’s UN General Assembly agreeing the Sustainable Development Goals and the launch of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.  

A common thread? Better data leads to better lives.

World Statistics Day celebrates the role of statistics, the institutions and individuals that produce them, and the impact they have in designing and monitoring the policies and services that can improve people’s wellbeing.

The World Bank’s commitment to improve statistics and fill data gaps


There are some big gaps in country-level data - gaps in what we know. We consider this “data deprivation”  an overlooked dimension of poverty. That’s why we’re working with our partners to identify priority investments to close these gaps.

The areas we’ll initially focus on include: ensuring universal civil registration of births and deaths; improving economic statistics; expanding the coverage of household surveys in the world’s poorest countries; and taking advantage of new technologies and data sources to improve data production and use.  

Statistics are vital. We’re working to make them better, so they can be used better.

So without further ado, my colleages around the Bank have put together 17 statistics that stand out for them  - some you may know, some you may not, all of them related to the Sustainable Development Goals: