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The Eurozone Drama – Chernoff Faces Tells the Story

August 15, 2012

Chernoff faces are used to display multivariate data in the shape of a human face. Most of the time these faces are constructed mechanically without any attempt to use the variables to create an emotion. Here desirable economical outcomes cause a positive face expression.

  • Size of face = Gross domestic product, current prices (billions of U.S. dollars)
  • Angle of eyebrows (relative to eyes) = Inflation, average consumer prices Percent change
  • Shape of mouth = Unemployment rate (percent of total labor force)
  • Vertical position of eyebrows = General government net debt (percent of GDP)

Data source is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). A larger face means higher GDP, “v-shaped” eyebrow means more inflation, smiling mouth means less unemployment, higher position of eyebrows means less debt. DE=Germany, ES=Spain, FI=Finland, FR=France, GR=Greece, IE=Ireland, IT=Italy and PT=Portugal.

The Eurozone drama (click on the pictures to see them clearly):

Story in year 1996

Year 2001Year 2006
Year 2011

Complete set of Chernoff faces

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