Unit 2 Required Reading – Gapminder

The first required reading for Unit 2 is really a required viewing.
Sound economics involves data. Unfortunately in too many discussions of economies or economic systems, many people base their views on ideology or just anecdotes.  In this course, one of my objectives is for you to learn some useful data sources and learn how to explore those sources and use them.  You’re fortunate. Today we have a wealth of not only raw data available online, but incredible resources on the Web for exploring that data and building a narrative out of it.

One of the most powerful data resources is a website called Gapminder.  First I have two videos I’d like you watch where the creator of Gapminder, Hans Rosling, shows how real data can change our understanding of the world. Turns out a lot of what “we all know to be common sense”, isn’t really factual.


After viewing these videos, please go to the Gapminder site at https://www.gapminder.org and explore some of the tools.  Post to this discussion site things you learned, found interesting, discovered, or how it may affect the areas/topics you want to research further.  Also feel free to post questions that the data raises or that you have about interpreting the data.