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Bloomberg's Misery Index Is Miserable!
AREA Press Release No. 224/2019: April 24, 2019

Dr.Sopon Pornchokchai, Ph.D. Dip.FIABCI, MRICS
President, Agency for Real Estate Affairs (AREA)

Recently, Bloomberg released its 2019 “Misery Index” findings wherein Thailand is projected, as in 2018, to rank the least 'miserable' country on earth. But does this conclusion concur with reality?  As Thais, we would certainly hope so but, sadly, it does not!


According to Bloomberg's Index for 2019, Thailand is again awarded "least miserable" status through the nation's unique way of calculating unemployment, helping to questionably edge out the next-least miserable, Switzerland (https://bloom.bg/2XuLpii). Actually, the concluded outcome is good news for Thailand.  However, educated doubt casts a dark shadow over the published results.


In 2014 Singapore, as usual sensible, orderly and unrepressed, claimed least miserable status (http://bit.ly/2HlAkst). Common sense demands there is surely something amiss. Is it impertinent to conclude Bloomberg chose to release this unrealistic index with lack of due diligence? Let us consider!


Dr.Sopon Pornchokchai, President of the Agency for Real Estate Affairs (www.area.co.th), the largest real estate information and valuation centre in Thailand, was surprised at these findings.  It is sincerely hoped that one day in the not-too-distant future, Thailand will indeed come to be one of the best places to stay, with least miserable status. However, for the time being, this hope may be misplaced.


Dr.Sopon used the 2018 data, which is very similar to that of 2019. The data provided lists of the 10 Least Miserable and the 10 Most Miserable countries on earth (https://bloom.bg/2BZ5shV). No complete sets of information were found. However, Dr. Sopon used available information to compare:

1. Corruption Perception Index (http://bit.ly/2j3Y63K)

2. Crime by country (http://bit.ly/2dRWb0Y)

3. Costs of living (http://bit.ly/2legFDr)

4. Inflation rates (http://bit.ly/2EB3shQ)

5. Homicide (http://bit.ly/1baalwg)

6. Country Risk (http://bit.ly/2CrXsC1)


Simple Regression Analysis is applied for this analysis. The Bloomberg Misery Index is the dependent variable; the remaining six sets of data are the independent variables. Resultant, the value of the Adjusted R Square is pretty low, shown as follows:

1. Corruption Perception Index with an Adjusted R Square =  0.383477

2. Crime with an Adjusted R Square = 0.533329

3. Costs of Living with an Adjusted R Square = 0.375025

4. Inflation with an Adjusted R Square = 0.012248

5. Homicide Index with an Adjusted R Square = 0.264251

6. Country Risk with an Adjusted R Square = 0.066282292

Since the value of the Adjusted R Square is far below one, it implies that there is no significant relationship between the dependent variable and the six independent variables. In addition, an analysis of correlation matrix among those least miserable countries is applied.  There is also no relationship between the miserable indexes and other indices.


In other words, the reliability of the Bloomberg Misery Index seems highly doubtful. There may be something wrong in the construction of this index, possibly some distortion for the benefit of the current Thai government, or perhaps some other not easily identifiable reasons.


Thus, Bloomberg's Misery Index is plain miserable!  Is it just to please our government?  Whatever, it is indeed misleading!

See Youtube video: https://youtu.be/unrwKuXXcMc