Wonk Charts: Best of 2012 (Canada adjusted)
The Washington Post “asked professional wonks — economists, political scientist, politicians and more — to see what graphs and charts they felt did the best job explaining the past year.” Results here.
Most, as you’d expect, reflect American conditions and issues. But this one, international in scope, says something about Canada, particularly since the source of the data is also from a Canadian:
Chrystia Freeland — editor, Thomson Reuters Digital
This is my graph of the year — known as The Great Gatsby Curve. The Great Gatsby Curve draws on the research of Canadian economist Miles Corak and was widely popularized in a January 2012 speech by Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.
“The Great Gatsby Curve is this year’s most important chart because it shows how social mobility declines as income inequality increases. At a time of rising income inequality, this is a hugely important finding because it suggests that the widening economic chasm imperils one of the characteristics many Americans believe is central to their society.
It helps to understand that the y (or vertical) axis, labelled “Intergenerational Earnings Elasticity,” shows the likelihood of someone inheriting their parents’ relative position of income level. (Lower on the axis means more social mobility.) So countries with low levels of inequality such as Denmark and Norway had some of the greatest mobility. Canada, with a higher level of inequality, still has relatively good social mobility.
See, isn’t that interesting.