Saturday 16 December 2017

Misery index too high for government election win

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

WHATEVER happened to the Misery Index? This was famous for 15 minutes, back in the day, based on a claim that adding unemployment and inflation together was a good guide as to whether governments would get re-elected.

How would the index have fared in the Irish election? It is still around; not as famous but more complicated. (If you must know, it's the sum of the interest, inflation, and unemployment rates, minus the year-on-year change in per-capita GDP growth).

That version is thanks to economist Steve Hanke from the John Hopkins University of Baltimore, USA. He compiled an updated index in 2013, where Ireland ranked as the 44th most miserable out of 89 countries surveyed.

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