Relative Political Capacity Indicator
Summary Advice: The Relative Political Capacity (RPC) indicator is a measure of government's relative ability to extract resources from its constituency compared to other governments at similar levels of socio-economic development.
Main Points: The RPC reflects a government's relative ability to extract resources from its constituency compared to other governments at similar levels of socio-economic development. The RPC emulates in the political and institutional arena, what GNP (gross national product) is in the economic field.
The original measure of relative political capacity looked at a model of extraction taking into account the economic profile of that economy and compared the actual levels of extraction to its predicted values
Relative Political Capacity = Actual Extraction/ Predicted Extraction
Comparisons of the rate of change are an initial starting point for making comparisons between series. Series often reflect different measurement units or methods. Consistency in the variance in observations contained in both series can be a basis for some confidence that the series are capturing the same variables. Applying the rate of change to existing measures prevents artificial introduction of variance created by differing measurement techniques or reporting agencies. Historical sources must be referenced in order to assure that steady change is occurring. The occurrence of dramatic or drastic change such as a coup, financial crisis or natural disaster can massively affect the rate of revenue collection and national expenditure.
Access to database: http://www.cgu.edu/Include/spe/Conf%20Pol%20Econ%20Indicators%202007/Arbetman-Rabinowitz%20Johnson%20RPC%202007%20Claremont.pdf
Source: Relative Political Capacity: Empirical and Theoretical Underpinnings, Marina Arbetman-Rabinowitz (Sentia Group), Kristin Johnson (The University of Rhode Island), Claremont, CA, October 2007
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