Russian GDP and the oil price

Playing with Google's "motion" widget for data visualisation
Tony Curzon Price
Tony Curzon Price
6 June 2010

Is there a visually attractive way of suggesting that the Russian economic renaissance since the depth of the 1998 rouble crisis has a lot to do with the oil price?

I have played with Goolge's very nice spreadsheet gadgets to try. Here is the "motion" gadget as used by the very attractive Gapminder

Click on the squiggly line tab (top right) - I haven't figured out how to set that pane as the default yet.


The hotter the color of the line, the higher the oil price. The higher the line, the higher the Russian GDP per capita. Doesn't prove anything, of course, but the visualisation does suggests the - uncontentious? - hypothesis that the oil price pulled the Russian economy out of its terrible recession.

I'll need to play with adding a few dimensions, as well as using the UN human development indices rather than GDP per capita to measure progress.

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