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Future Directions for International Data

Presenter 1
Richard Wiseman
University of Manchester, Mimas
Presenter 2
Susan Noble
University of Manchester
Presenter 3
Celia Russell
University of Manchester

One of the key features of the global financial crisis was its unexpected nature. This was a paradox as extensive data is collected from around the world with the primary aim of maintaining global financial stability. This failing of our current socioeconomic data framework, combined with a more widespread dissatisfaction with the present state of statistical information on economies and societies, prompted French president Nicholas Sarkozy to set up a commission designed to identify the limits of GDP as an indicator of economic performance. In this talk, we discuss the outcomes and likely impact of the commission which reported in 2009. We also consider the production of more relevant indicators of social progress, assess the feasibility of alternative measurement tools and discuss the likelihood of their adoption. International data are also widely used by the research community, and we also present here the results of a preliminary analysis of the ESDS International web server logs showing the countries and indicators preferentially chosen by academics when looking for data to support their research. These results tell us about the kind of data researchers choose when looking for data to support their research and the future directions we should consider as providers and facilitators of cross-national data.

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