November 2020

IZA DP No. 13895: Measuring the Statistical Capacity of Nations

Grant J. Cameron, Hai-Anh Dang, Mustafa Dinc, James Foster, Michael Lokshin

published in: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2021, 83 (4), 870-896.

The international development community has used the World Bank's Statistical Capacity Index since its inception in 2004. The Sustainable Development Goals create new challenges for national statistical systems to produce high-quality and internationally comparable data. This paper reviews measurement methodologies, posits desired attributes, and presents theoretical and empirical frameworks to propose a new, improved index to monitor progress in the statistical capacity of nations. The paper illustrates the properties of the proposed index with global data from 2016.