Working paper analyses problems with Freedom in the World Index, V-DEM indices, and EIU Democracy Index

EAC-PM working paper analyses problems with Freedom in the World Index, V-DEM indices, and EIU Democracy Index

Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister has issued a working paper by Sanjeev Sanyal Member EAC-PM and Akanksha Arora . The Paper analyses three perception-based indices: Freedom in the World Index, V-DEM indices, and EIU Democracy Index .

The  EAC-PM tweeted the following thread which finds serious problems with the methodology used in these perception-based indices. And says ‘questions used by these indices are not an appropriate measure of democracy across all countries’.

“In recent years, India’s rankings and scores have declined on a number of global opinion-based indices that deal with subjective issues such as democracy, freedom and so on.

@sanjeevsanyal & @AakankshaArora5  write.

This working paper analyses three perception-based indices: Freedom in the World Index, V-DEM indices, and EIU Democracy Index.

Freedom in the World Index and V-DEM indices have placed India at the same level as during the Emergency of the 1970s. Moreover, India has been placed below countries like Northern Cyprus. Surely, this is not credible.

There are serious problems with the methodology used in these perception-based indices. First, these indices are primarily based on the opinions of a tiny group of unknown “experts”

Second, the questions that are used are subjective and are worded in a way that is impossible to answer objectively even for a country, let alone compare across countries. Third, there are questions that should be asked but are excluded.

Fourth, certain questions used by these indices are not an appropriate measure of democracy across all countries.

Since these indices are inputs into the World Governance Indicators, the World Bank should ensure greater transparency and accountability from these institutions.

Meanwhile, independent Indian think tanks should be encouraged to do similar perception-based indices for the world in order to break the monopoly of a handful of western institutions.”

The working paper can be accessed at

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