Numbers Numbers and even more Numbers

Hi everyone!! It’s been a pretty busy week for me in DC from building a snowman to sitting in a discussion analyzing the release of a new antiterrorism report.  This is also the first week where I didn’t focus on narrowing my research question and started compiling quantitative data. To start off, I finished my Globalization Index ! Because of the lack of data regarding the number of multinational corporations in host countries (a factor I wanted to include in my globalization index) the index only takes into account number of imports, exports, and direct foreign investment. Another big milestone was that I finally learned how to use google sheets! 🙂 Each step of calculation towards forming the index was taking too long because I did it individually at first, so I took it upon myself to learn how to use Google Sheets properly.

As I was making my globalization index there were a few problems that I encountered. First, the weightage I gave each factor was arbitrary. I weighed exports at 45% due to the fact that exports signify goods coming out of the country which may lead to an increase in the amount of humans being smuggled as well. It also means that workers in a country will have to make more goods and work longer hours to meet demand which could lead to deteriorating working conditions and more forced labour. I weighed foreign direct investment at 30% to determine if money invested in a country was being used to help develop the respective country and benefit individuals from all backgrounds or if it just created a higher demand for cheap labor. Finally, I weighed imports at 25% because I was more interested in what goods and services were coming out of the country than were coming in. If I were researching trafficking within Southeast Asia and not victims originating from this region, the weightage of the imports and exports would likely be switched.

The second problem I encountered was how exactly I was going to create this scale of globalization. All the models I looked at used different methods to create an in index and left me more confused than I was at the beginning so I tried my best to formulate my own.

  1. I transferred all my import/export and direct foreign investment data onto a spreadsheet.
  2. The import/export data was in US$ (thousands) so I just multiplied it by a 1,000 to match units with the direct foreign investment data which was just in US$
  3. Because the numbers were really big and therefore hard to work with, I divided all the numbers by a 100,000
  4. I then multiplied the import data by 0.25, the export data by 0.45 and direct foreign investment data by 0.3 in order to get the correct weightage for all the components

Now I have come to the part which is arguably one of the hardest parts of my research: finding trafficking statistics. So far I have also come across statistics which talk about victims of domestic trafficking and very little about how many foreign victims there are from a certain country. I will try to get access to more databases through my external advisors next week which I hope will give me the statistics I need. After I get the statistics I will perform a correlational study between the globalization score I assigned each country and the number of victims emerging from the respective country.

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