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International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva successfully defended herself to her executive board this week, denying allegations that she was involved in efforts to manipulate data for the “Doing Business” reports during her tenure as World Bank CEO.

But the details that are emerging suggest that the reported attempts to refine the data were more subtle than global headlines portrayed.

What are these global business rankings — and what exactly are the accusations against World Bank staff? And what does this incident tell us about the politics of economic numbers?

Yes, data can become political

Accusations of data manipulation commonly sketch out situations in which there is a hard, correct number that accurately captures an objective truth, until an unscrupulous individual or group decides to modify it.…  Seguir leyendo »