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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Your politics might impact your income...at least in Venezuela

This link provides an interesting example of data collection and identification used by the government. In 2003 the Venezuelan opposition distributed petitions and collected 3 million signatures (twice), and these lists eventually found their way to publication on the internet. The opposition effort failed, but a data-merging effort resulted. The result of matching the list of supporters for Chavez's removal against a national database of citizens (including addresses, dob) is that the government has a list of citizens whose loyalty was, at least at the time of the petition, in question. Statisticians have tied household income data to the 0-1 variable indicating representation on the signature list and determined a 4% decrease in income resulted from signing the opposition papers. It would be interesting to look at global income outcomes related to voting history:incumbent party variables over time in both industrialized and developing countries.

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