“Shades of Freedom”
Main objective: To demonstrate ability to maintain a linked set of statistical investigations into what is really going on in the data, and to find/discover/invent fresh questions to be asked of it.
The attached dataset (in .sav and .xlsx formats) contains data on a selection of variables of potential relevance to aspects of human freedom for 162 countries. The Human Freedom Index presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas:
Rule of Law; Security and Safety; Movement; Religion; Association, Assembly, and Civil Society; Expression and Information; Identity and Relationships; Size of Government;
Legal System and Property Rights; Access to Sound Money; Freedom to Trade Internationally; Regulation of Credit, Labour, and Business. The methodology and used variables are explained at the end of the above report (page 380 onwards).
It is an open dataset, © Original authors: Ian Vásquez and Tanja Porčnik, The Human Freedom Index 2018: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom (Washington: Cato Institute, Fraser Institute, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, 2018).
You are invited to produce a report targeting academic and managerial audience, setting out the analyses of the attached dataset in no more than 1200 words*. You are encouraged to further research and expand the dataset developing insights into various issues hinted at in the existing data. Alternatively, you may decide to focus on a subset of the dataset explaining the reason for doing so.
Please note: You must only use analyses of the type covered during the first semester. If in doubt, revisit the Syllabus section in the Course Outline document for information.
- Commence with an executive summary stating the focal question(s)/objective(s) of your analytical journey and key findings.
- Continue by describing the dataset that your analyses will be based on.
- Explain the analytical thread you followed. The rationale for analyses and the findings themselves should be cogently described, and where appropriate you should manifest critical awareness of alternative ways of analysis that you did not follow.
This part of the report should be well organized with Tables and Figures numbered and labelled, written clearly in simple English.
Although in principle, the investigation may be self-contained with no real need to read around about the context of the problem, you are free to do so.
- Conclude with a summary of what you have learnt from your analyses and speculate how this could be of use to your audience.
*The word limit does not include references or the workings; everything else (e.g., Tables and Figures) is included. Use the Cardiff Harvard referencing system.