THE POWER GAP
Irrespective of their rankings, Index countries can be overachievers or underachievers in Asia relative to their size and resources.
The Power Gap measures the difference between a country’s overall power and what its power might be expected to be given its available resources. The difference between actual and predicted scores – the latter generated using a linear regression – effectively reveals how well each country converts its resources into influence in Asia.
The eight measures of the Index fall into two broad dimensions:
Resources measures: The first four measures of the Index – economic resources, military capability, resilience, and future trends – provide assessments of a country’s material capabilities and robustness, which are requisite factors in the exercise of power.
Influence measures: The last four measures of the Index – diplomatic influence, economic relationships, defence networks, and cultural influence – assess a country’s active levels of influence primarily in other Index countries, lending the Index its Asian focus.
The extent to which each country’s aggregate influence score affects its overall power, either positively or negatively, is its Power Gap score. Countries with outsized influence relative to their resources have a positive Power Gap score. Conversely, countries that exert undersized influence relative to their share of resources register a negative Power Gap score.