About David Lusseau
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I would say, you cannot claim that reducing inequalities (SDG10) is a cause and its dependent SDGs are effects. As I understand your methods, you compute dependencies between the SDGs. Although SDG10 is central for high-income countries, it does not mean that improving it has effects on other SDGs, because you have an undirected graph: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-43033-9
In your network for high-income countries, SDG10 is central, but this could also mean that it is a side-effect of improvements in its dependent SDGs.
Hi Felix, as you know we have been extremely explicit about the fact that we are looking at associations and not causality. Indeed, we point to other inferential framework which are likely to be more fruitful to talk about causal links between sdgs after a few methodological developments (p.245, last paragraph).
With this in mind, what we have here is a measure of associations, if we look at the observations from the past 25 years, when we 'push' to progress SDG10, we tend to have 'more returns' for the other SDGs, except climate action. The statement on SDG10 is not only based on the topological analysis but primarily based on the simulations (Figure 3c) based on the matrix projection with an annual positive 'nudge' for each particular sdg. this encapsulates direct and 'indirect' effects of sdg10 which eigenvector centrality of sdg10 captures.
We cannot make predictions about what would happen if we change the way we tackle climate action by placing sdg10 to its heart (e.g., ala 'Green New Deal'), but at the moment this seems to be the most sensible thing to try.
Unfortunately, we are running out of time, I see 2030 as a 'hard deadline' by which if we have not manage to substantially address the sdgs, we will tip in an alternative path for our planetary socioecological system; so here is an hypothesis (placing SDG10 at the core of our policies in high-income countries) that I'd like to see challenged and tested rapidly.