[CivicAccess-discuss] Debra Thomson - NYTimes: Mapping America: Every City, Every Block
oxford.tuxedo at gmail.com
Wed Jan 12 01:31:42 EST 2011
> I would be interested in empirical
> evidence that tracking race has led to some social policy that has increased
> equality. Of the 40% of countries who do not track it, are they less or more
> equal? God knows the US is an extremely equal society thanks to their rich
> and open census data - sorry for the sarcasm, could not help myself.
There is no direct causal relation between the inclusion of a census
question on race and equality in that population. There's a lot of
stuff that goes on between collecting data and creating policy, so you
won't find strong evidence that these questions in any way guarantee
greater equality; there's a lot that can go wrong along the way. But
if that were a good argument to remove the question, then it would
also be a good argument to kill the census.
More importantly, there are many more factors than census questions
contributing to greater equality. A society is not more equal just on
the strength of its census. But that is not to say the census can't be
an important factor. It's just hard to measure because you can't
isolate it from all the other variables. So, no, you won't find
irrefutable evidence for what you're looking for.
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