Panel Paper: Visualizing Economic Data for Non-Experts

Thursday, November 8, 2012 : 3:20 PM
Mencken (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Catherine Mulbrandon,

While news organizations like the New York Times experiment with data graphics there is a lot of data locked away in government web sites and academic papers that rarely gets covered by the news. At the same time, many articles are written about latest economic numbers (i.e., “unemployment is up this month”) by journalists who may not have a background the subject. was launched in 2006, dedicated to publishing infographics about economic data for a general audience, with the intention of supporting citizen’s participation in the discussions about economic policy. Showing the data in historical context, including annotations, and comparisons with to other data series, makes the data more meaningful for non-economists. This paper explores different ways to explain economic data using these and other techniques of data visualization.