IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/oec/stdaaa/2007-2-en.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Statistics and Politics in a "Knowledge Society"

Author

Listed:
  • Enrico Giovannini

    (OECD)

Abstract

Several studies have analysed the characteristics of the knowledge society, as well as its impact on the production of "official" statistics. In this paper we will not enter into this debate, but we will try to analyse the role of statistics in building a knowledge society and improving the democratic control of policy makers. This issue is especially important because the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) dramatically reduced the cost of producing statistics: therefore, nowadays a huge number of organisations is able to produce statistical figures and indices, frequently picked up by media, just for advocacy purposes and this contributes to create a sense of "confusion" often reported by citizens about the real state of the economy and of the society. This "noise" does not help at all citizens to make the best possible choices, including the electoral ones, and this is not a good thing for the functioning of economic markets and the democracy. The paper initially analyses the relationships between information, expectations and economic theory, as well as the nexus between information and political sciences. In the second part, various approaches to the measurement of societal progress and the role of "key indicators" are presented and analysed. Moreover, theoretical models and empirical evidence about what citizens know on societal progress are discussed. Finally, the OECD project on the measurement of societal progress is presented. Plusieurs études ont analysé les caractéristiques d’une société de la connaissance, ainsi que son impact sur la production de statistiques « officielles ». Nous n’entrerons pas dans ce débat dans ce document, mais nous essayerons d’analyser le rôle des statistiques dans la construction d’une société de la connaissance et l’amélioration du contrôle démocratique des décideurs politiques. Cette question est particulièrement importante parce que le développement des technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC) a nettement réduit le coût de la production des statistiques : par conséquent, un grand nombre d’organisations sont maintenant capables de produire des chiffres et des indices, fréquemment repris par les médias, dans le but de sensibiliser ce qui contribue à créer un sentiment de « confusion » souvent rapporté par les citoyens à propos de l’état réel de l’économie et de la société. Ce « bruit » n’aide pas les citoyens à faire les meilleurs choix possibles, y compris les choix électoraux, et ce n’est pas une bonne chose pour le fonctionnement des marchés économiques et de la démocratie. Cet article examine initialement les rapports entre l?information, les attentes et la théorie économique, ainsi que la connexion entre l'information et les sciences politiques. Dans la deuxième partie, diverses approches de la mesure du progrès sociétal et du rôle des « indicateurs clés » sont présentées et analysées. De plus, les modèles théoriques et l'évidence empirique au sujet de ce que les citoyens connaissent du progrès sociétal sont discutés. En conclusion, le projet de l'OCDE sur la mesure du progrès sociétal est présenté.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Giovannini, 2007. "Statistics and Politics in a "Knowledge Society"," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2007/2, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2007/2-en
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/116286256286
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michela Nardo & Michaela Saisana & Andrea Saltelli & Stefano Tarantola & Anders Hoffman & Enrico Giovannini, 2005. "Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators: Methodology and User Guide," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2005/3, OECD Publishing.
    2. Otto Swank & Bauke Visser, 2006. "Do elections lead to informed public decisions?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 435-460, December.
    3. Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
    4. Emile Grunberg & Franco Modigliani, 1954. "The Predictability of Social Events," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 465-465.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:67:y:1973:i:02:p:490-498_14 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2005. "(Why) are economists different?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 543-562, September.
    7. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298.
    8. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1975. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1113-1144, December.
    9. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Oleg CARA, 2014. "Challenges Of Official Statistics In The Globalization Era," ECONOMY AND SOCIOLOGY: Theoretical and Scientifical Journal, Socionet;Complexul Editorial "INCE", issue 1, pages 121-127.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2007/2-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/stoecfr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.