The Better Place Index results are based on the analysis of data from the several sources. Figures on immigration came from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, and income tax-rates came from KPMG’s individual income tax rates. Figures on democracy was based on data provided by the non-partisan think tank Freedom House.
While not an ideal measure of an essentially contested concept like democracy (Collier, Hidalgo and Maciuceanu 2006), Freedom House is the most widely used measure of political pluralism in use (Högström 2013, See also Bollen 1986).
The data for provisions for citizen-initiated referendums is based on Morel (2017), with subsequent additional data from individual constitutions. The latter is based on a dummy-variable, with 0 when the country does not have provisions for citizen-initiated referendums and 1 when there are provisions for these.
Whether a country holds:
Competitive, multiparty political system; if there is
Adult suffrage for all citizens without criminal convictions (some states may further punish and subjugate people with criminal convictions by disenfranchising them from the democratic process). If ..
These regularly contested elections are conducted in conditions of ballot secrecy, reasonable ballot security, and the absence of massive voter fraud that yields results that are unrepresentative of the public will; and
If there is significant public access of major political parties to the electorate through the media and through generally open political campaigning.
Based on expert assessments, which can be criticised, for a country to be categorized as an electoral democracy, it must score seven or more out of twelve in political rights subcategory A (Electoral Progress), and have an overall aggregate score of 20 in their political rights rating and an overall aggregate score of 30 in their civil liberties rating. (Freedom House 2017)
We use Pearsons' Correlation coefficient (conventionally represented by ‘R’) to measure the association between variables and refine this through linear regression models.
The correlation coefficient is a measure of the statistical association between two variables. It is measured on a scale that varies from + 1 through 0 to - 1. A complete correlation between two variables is expressed by either + 1 or -1. When one variable increases as the other increases the correlation is positive; when one decreases as the other increases the statistical relationship is negative.
Conventionally a correlation of R<.50 (or -.50) is a very strong correlation, R < .30-49 is a medium correlation and R< .10-29 is a small correlation (Cohen 1988: 79-81).
Bollen, Kenneth A. (1986) "Political Rights and Political Liberties in Nations: An Evaluation of Human Rights Measures, 1950 to 1984." Human Rights Quarterly 8 (4): 567-591.
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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2015) Flüchtlinge könnten Wirtschaftswunder bringen, https://www.faz.net/aktuell/technik-motor/iaa/daimler-chef-zetsche-fluechtlinge-koennten-neues-wirtschaftswunder-ausloesen-13803671.html Accessed 28th April, 2020.
Galbraith, John Kenneth (1996) The Good Society. The Humane Agenda. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company
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Högström, J. (2013) ‘Does the choice of democracy measure matter? Comparisons between the two leading democracy indices, Freedom House and Polity IV’. Government and Opposition, 48(2), 201-221.
James I and VI (1918)  ‘The The Political Works of James I, reprinted from the edition of 1616 with an introduction by Charles Howard McIlwain (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1918), pp. 53-70.
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Morel, L. (2017) ‘Types of referendums, provisions and practice at the national level worldwide’. In Morel, Laurence, and Matt
Qvortrup (eds) The Routledge handbook to referendums and direct democracy. London: Routledge, 27-59.
Rawls, John (1999) A Theory of Justice. (Revised Edition.) Harvard University Press.
Pew Global (2017) http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/10/16/democracy-widely-supported-little-backing-for-rule-by-strong-leader-or-military/pg_2017-10-16_global-democracy_2-02/ Accessed 18th March, 2019
Piero Stanig (2018) ‘ Considerations on the Method of Constructing Governance Indices’, in Helmut K. Anheir, Matthias Haber and Mark
A. Keyser (Editors) Governance Indicators: Approaches, Progress, Promise. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 134-153, at.137
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Qvortrup, M. (2017). The rise of referendums: Demystifying direct democracy. Journal of Democracy, 28(3), 141-152.
Runciman, D. (2018) How Democracy Ends. London: Profile Books
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Weber, M. (1976). The Protestant work ethic and the spirit of capitalism. Allen and Unwin.
Reference [click down chevron to show] topical reading and booklist recommended by and associated with The Better Place Index