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National Wealth and IQ at the Edge: American Exceptionalism, East Asian Mediocrity

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Why is the HBDsphere so damn interested in IQ, anyway?

While I can’t speak for the “movement” at large, in my own case the interest stems from the fact that it explains so much about our world. (In fact, I was interested in this topic long before I discovered HBD, Charles Murray, Jensen, Lynn, Rushton, etc). In particular, it convincingly answers the central question of political economy since the days of Adam Smith – why are some nations poor and some nations rich? After all the long debates about the merits of free markets over industrial policy, over the influence of institutions versus geography; after all the human miseries suffered from zealous adherence to some ideology or other, from the Great Leap Forwards in China to the capitalist disaster zone that neoliberalism made of the ex-Soviet Union in the 1990s, after all these blunders, mishaps, and occasional horrors committed in search of the Answer, we find that it mostly boils down to just one ultimately rather banal thing: Some peoples are more intelligent than others, work more efficiently, and hence enjoy greater wealth; and as a result of said greater efficiency, capital naturally flows towards them, further multiplying their output relative to the backwards countries.

In extreme cases, institutional factors do make a huge difference. Countries with a socialist (central planning) legacy – that is, East Central Europe, the ex-USSR, China, Vietnam – are still systemically much poorer than countries where markets have long functioned with at least some minimal degree of freedom, even though their IQs do not differ much from those of the US, Western Europe, and Japan. Stress on the “minimal” – beyond some fairly modest point of economic freedom and basic political stability, it appears that institutions and economic openness offer rapidly diminishing returns; for instance, the Belorussian economy, which is still 90% state owned and a dictatorship, was actually the most successful of all the ex-Soviet economies after 1991, including even economic reform stars like Estonia (actually Azerbaijan performed even better, but it was helped by a massive oil windfall). Speaking of which, on the other side of the correlation curve you have countries with a very big resource windfall per capita – Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Norway, etc. – which are much richer than the level “warranted” by the quality of their human capital. But once we take these two groups out of the equation, and also get rid of tiny finance-orientated city-states, the correlation between national IQ and economic wealth becomes extremely close – a fact all the more remarkable when we consider that estimates of both national IQ and GDP per capita (PPP) can vary fairly widely.

Here is a graph I made from 2013, which shows a correlation of R2=0.84. This is entirely in line with other similar calculations by professional psychometricians like Heiner Rindermann.

World-IQ-and-GDPpc-2009

That said, as I noted even back then, there are some curious outliers in the “capitalist normal” countries. Moreover, these outliers tend to be concentrated at the wealthy frontier: The US is a positive outlier, whereas Japan, the East Asian countries, Finland, and to a lesser extent, the “Anglo offshoots” (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) are negative outliers.

As economic historian pseudoerasmus pointed out on many occasions, while national IQ is central to the growth story for low-income and middle-income countries in catch-up growth, for already developed nations with their standard 100±5 IQs the benefits accrue overwhelmingly to those with more “marginal” advantages, such as those having somewhat better institutions, or conditions for doing business. This is a hypothesis that makes good theoretical sense, but a closer examination reveals that things might not be that simple. The Anglo nations have what are widely regarded as very good institutions, courts, and conditions for business, but they are relative underperformers, even (especially) when productivity is taken into account. Japan has a 5-7 IQ advantage over, say, Italy, but its GDP per capita (PPP) is similar, while its productivity is significantly lower – even though Japan rates higher on ease of business and perception of corruption indices. There must be other factors that are at play, and I will admit that I am unsure as to what they are. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s examine the data in greater detail.

This is the data table I used in the charts in this article:

World-IQ-and-GDP-2013-data-table

I limited myself to countries that satisfied the following list of conditions:

  • Those that had a substantial population, at least 5 million or more (smaller countries tend to be financial/tourism hubs with too much artificially inflated wealth).
  • Did not have a central planning legacy that depressed their wealth (so, no country from the socialist camp during the Cold War) or a big resource endowment per capita (so, out go countries like Saudi Arabia and Norway). We are talking primarily of the old OECD members minus Mexico and Turkey.
  • Are wealthy, i.e. have a GDP per capita of at least $20,000. We already established that the correlation between national IQ and wealth in poorer countries is very good; the question we now want to answer is why it begins to break down at the edge of the graphs.

GDP per capita is measured in purchasing power parity terms because it better reflects the real level of production and living standards in any country and accounts for short-term currency fluctuations. Productivity is the GDP per capita (PPP) adjusted for the labor participation rate and average hours worked per country, i.e. GDP per hour worked. Most of the data I got from the World Bank or the OECD, though I frequently had to look for other sources in the cases of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The regional averages were calculated as a weighted population average of each regional label. National IQs were derived from the average of the Math, Science, and Reading component in PISA 2009.

The first series of graphs show regional and country national IQ versus GDP per capita (PPP) data, with the bubbles scaled for population size.

Developed-World-Regions-IQ-and-GDPpc-2013

Here, at an amalgamated level, we already see a distinct pattern: Americans are much richer than they “should” be, whereas East Asians are much poorer. But curiously, the Anglo offshoots are closer to East Asia here than they are to European-stock populations, so it is not at all obvious that it is an HBD issue.

And now for the country specific data.

Developed-World-IQ-and-GDPpc-2013

While all the countries of Western Europe hew close to the line of best fit, again there are three major exceptions: The US to the upside, and Japan and South Korea to the downside.

The obvious and immediate explanation is that some countries have greater labor participation rates, and/or work more hours. So a natural adjustment would be to calculate the GDP per capita generated per manhour of work and see if that explains American and East Asian exceptionalism relative to Western Europe.

I would note at the outset a few caveats to bear in mind. First, in many cases – certainly regarding the US vs. Western Europe – a large share of the differences in overall labor participation is explained by the greater percentage of American youth and the elderly in the workforce by dint of its less generous welfare state (left-wing view) and less restrictive labor laws (right-wing view). Increasing the labor participation of both of these groups will yield only marginal improvements in total output because they are far less productive than people in their prime. Likewise, working longer hours is of questionable value, because workers will presumably either get more tired and less productive, and/or end up wasting time due to Parkinson’s Law (“work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”). On paper, Greeks work far longer than Germans… if by “working” you mean drinking coffee. The Japanese have it even worse; extra hours “worked” there means pretending to work until the boss leaves. Germans, on the other hand, actually get all the important stuff done quickly and efficiently, and get to enjoy a big chunk of the rest of the day. Americans tend to work long hours and productively.

Even so, on average, productivity is probably more impacted by national IQ than the level of GDP per capita. At the very least, by far the biggest discrepancy – that between the US and Western Europe – largely vanishes after this adjustment.

Developed-World-Regions-IQ-and-Productivity-2013

Although the gap between the Westerners (barring the Anglo offshots) and East Asia then becomes even wider.

Developed-World-IQ-and-Productivity-2013

Now that I’ve laid out all the data, time to consider some hypotheses for American exceptionalism and Asian mediocrity. At the outset, I should thank pseudoerasmus and James Thompson for participating in the Twitter discussion where many of these ideas were initially raised, analyzed, and critiqued.

1) Historical Leadership. The US has been at the technological edge since its inception; Britain industrialized a bit earlier, but there was never a significant gap in per capita output. Moreover, it burst clear of everyone else in the wake of World War Two, which devastated most of Europe. But 70 years is more than enough time to recover and catch up. In fact, that is precisely what happened: The first part of the period was of the Wirtschaftswunder, the Trente Glorieuses, Il Sorpasso, the Japanese Miracle, and the East Asian Tigers. But ever since 1990 or thereabouts, longterm per capita growth rates in developed Europe, the US, and Japan – for all the rhetoric about “European stagnation” and “Japan’s lost decade” – have basically converged. Here is Paul Krugman’s famous chart on this:

europe-japan-convergence-gdp-krugman

The only two major countries for which uncompleted convergence could still be a significant factor are South Korea and perhaps Taiwan. But any further relative gains on their parts, if the past five years are anything to go by, are going to be slow and marginal. For all its dazzling PISA performance and blisteringly rapid economic catchup, Korea’s productivity levels are still equivalent to those of Portugal, which has traditionally been the poorest country in Europe with the exception of a few Balkan backwaters, and Greece, which is at the tail end of a multi-year depression. Both Portugal and Greece have national IQs almost 10 points below Korea’s.

2) Immigration, Population Composition, and IQ Structure. But if anything, this makes the puzzle even more acute. We know that in recent decades Europe received a lot of immigrants, whose IQs are far lower than those of the natives and show no signs of convergence. The US, meanwhile, is host to two major population groups – Blacks and Non-White Hispanics – with consistently subpar IQs that together make up more than 20% of the population. If anything, that should depress productivity, which probably partially explains New Zealand, where ~90 IQ Maoris and Pacific Islanders also make up slightly more than 20% of the population. In contrast, high IQ and ethnically homogenous Japan, Korea, and Finland all underperform, as do Canada and Australia, which are not ethnically homogenous but do make sure to have cognitively elitist immigration policies.

That said, there are two reasons why this effect might not be all that powerful for both Europe and the US. First of all, in both Europe and the US, these NAMs (Non-Asian Minorities) have a relatively greater demographic preponderance amongst the youngest cohorts, whose members are either not in the workforce at all (infants, schoolchildren, students) or aren’t able to contribute much anyway (they are younger workers with less experience; while they might be quicker on the uptake, older workers often beat them with experience, especially in the more cognitively intense professions). This will likely do Europe and the US no good in the longterm, as they develop ever larger, ethnically distinct cognitive/economic underclasses that will pull down overall GDP per capita and productivity, but this probably just doesn’t play that big of a role… for now.

Moreover, at least in the US, the situation is further improved by the presence of sizable “smart fractions,” which have a disproportionately large positive effect on overall GDP per capita according to many psychometricians like Heiner Rindermann. These smart fractions are both ethnic – most notably, the 2% of the population that is Jewish – as well as the result of a global cognitive clustering effect (many of the world’s brightest and most ambitious people are inordinately drawn to US universities and Silicon Valley). It would also explain Israel’s overperformance – while the national IQ is depressed by Arabs and Sephardic Jews, and the economy is burdened by Haredi welfare bums, the Ashkenazi Jewish cognitive elite still manages to compensate for all that and elevate GDP per capita above the global correlation curve.

Some thinkers have speculated that the reason for East Asian underperformance is that although they have higher IQs than Whites, they have fewer very high IQ people (“smart fractions”) because of narrower distributions. The only problem with this very plausible and reasonable theory is that it is almost certainly completely wrong. The PISA tests show that East Asian S.D.’s are no different from those of European countries (though Finland’s, curiously enough, is lower at a statistically significant level). This theory could furthermore be disproved by a cursory glance at a list of names of members of the US Mathematical Olympiad teams – since 2010, fully 75% have either Chinese or Vietnamese last names.

Another, more plausible theory, advanced by Griffe de Lion as well as Rindermann, is that some forms of IQ, most notably verbal, in which the European-East Asian gap is very modest or even non-existent, are relatively more important for economic success than mathematical aptitude, where the gap is substantial, or visuospatial ability, where it is as big as 10 points. (Lynn actually claims that Europeans are verbally smarter, but PISA shows otherwise, though it does confirm that the Asian/European gap in verbal IQ is much less than the mathematical one). This would largely though not fully resolve the puzzle of East Asian underperformance, though you would still have to convincingly explain why verbal IQ in particular is more important for economic prosperity than, say, just g.

Finally, we must also bear in mind that gaps in cognitive ability can increase or decrease with age. Most tests of intelligence are performed on children or teenagers because it is easy to get big, representative samples from them. But what is true for under-18s may no longer be true for the mid-25s, when fluid intelligence is maximized (the ability to learn), or the 50s, when crystallized intelligence (total stock of applicable knowledge and experience) is maximized. For instance, while male and female IQ tends to be similar, though the latter have famously narrower distributions, it appears that at least on progressive matrices tests, a 5 point gap opens up during the 20s in favor of men and persists thereafter. Just as a significant part of the Flynn Effect can be explained through faster maturation due to better nutrition and parasitic disease control during the past century, so the biological reality that men fully physically mature about five years later than women could explain the appearance of a gender IQ gap in adulthood. Could there be similar processes at work in regards to different ethnic groups? Certainly it seems to pertain to the famous Black-White IQ gap, which increases with age, and very substantially so. Note that productivity in most smart fraction professions peaks in the 50s, when crystallized intelligence is maximized.

Could it be that the Asian IQ lead over Europeans in childhood and adolescence closes or even reverses with age? I have no idea. I was unable to find any hard statistical data on this. (Do tell me in the comments if you have). So for now it must remain but a stab in the dark hypothesis. However, if this is indeed the case – that the Caucasian/Asian IQ gap diminishes or even reverses with age, or put another way, that the much maligned “old white man” really is the smartest dude around – would be able to fully explain Asian underperformance, especially if paired with the observations on the relatively greater importance of verbal IQ as it pertains to economic prosperity.

3) Institutions and Economic Freedom. We know that in the most extreme cases – for instance, central planning under Communist regimes – lack of economic freedom leads to substantially inferior economic outcomes relative to what they might have been under market conditions. Beyond some minimal level, however, the role that increasing economic freedom plays seems to be subject to rapidly diminishing returns. Chile is one of the freest economies on the planet thanks to Señor Pinochet, Argentina is the exact opposite – but their GDP per capita is virtually the same, as – who’d have guessed it? – are their national IQs. But Chile and Argentina are middle-income countries, so institutional differences might not be making themselves felt as much as in fully developed countries.

So let’s look at the biggest outliers and the quality of their instutitions and business environment, as proxied by the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business indicator and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

gdp-iq-outliers

Now this is hardly a rigorous statistical test, but it’s clear that there’s little or no evident connection. All negative outliers are well within the world’s top quintile by ease of doing business – unlike, say, Italy (56th) and Greece (61st), which although poor by OECD standards are not however major outliers on the IQ charts. Finland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are some of the freest economies and best places for business on the planet.

The only two negative outliers which might have a significant problem with corruption are Taiwan and Korea. Now Taiwan is… a strange case. According to one poll, also carried out by Transparency International, 36% (!) of them said they paid a bribe in the past year. This is almost certainly a statistical fluke. On the other hand, only 2% of Koreans said they paid a bribe in the past year; only Denmark, the UK, and Norway, all countries that everyone agrees have minimal levels of everyday corruption, claimed to have paid fewer bribes. Assuming they weren’t lying, perhaps Korea’s rating on the CPI is overly pessimistic. Regardless – that’s still a lot better than most of the rest of the world, including rich non-outlier countries like Italy and Greece, both of whom are joint 69th on the CPI rankings.

4) Economies of Scale. The US is a single integrated market of more than 300 million people with a common language and set of laws and institutions, which enables massive economies of scale. To a lesser extent, this is also the case in the EU, which now has common markets but is still divided by political-fiscal barriers that are make life very difficult for at least some of their members, such as Greece and the Mediterranean countries generally. While Japan might not be of continental proportions, it does have a very substantial population – at 127 million, it is more than one and a half times as big as Germany’s – so it should enjoy most of the benefits from this as well. This factor would have a negative effect on Australia and especially New Zealand, which have low populations themselves and are geographically distant from other big markets.

5) Geography. The US has some of the best geography for industrial civilization on the entire planet: Multiple excellent ports on both seaboards,and the massive Mississippi River and Great Lakes water network that interconnects the entirety of its central core at next to no cost. Europe has middling geography, while Japan’s is poor and prone to natural disasters. Australia and New Zealand are very isolated, making economies of scale unrealistic. That said, the role of geographic factors in our days of dirt cheap oceanic bulk transport and dense railway networks is presumably quite modest.

6) Resource Windfalls. I purposefully excluded those countries where the economy is very clearly radically inflated by large resource windfalls per capita, such as Norway, but even so this factor is still significant for Canada, where natural resource rents as a share of GDP is at 4.4%, and Australia, where it is 8.0%. Combined with their relatively high national IQs and careful immigration policies, their “underperformance” becomes more puzzling, if anything. Even though the US also has a very substantial resource endowment, its effect is swamped by the overall size of its economy; natural resource rents as a share of GDP are a mere 1.3%.

7) Financial Windfalls. Might be a factor in Singapore’s good (relative to the rest of East Asia) performance. Why not Hong Kong? Because after it rejoined its motherland, China had no particular reason to favor it over, say, Shanghai or Guangdong, and quite a lot of disincentives to, considering the pro-Western tilt of many of Hong Kong’s elites. Singapore, however, was free to continue its project of becoming the world’s third major financial hub after London and New York, and its skyhigh GDP per capita (though unremarkable productivity) is a result of that. However, as mentioned at the start, I purposefully excluded places that were so small that a financial or tourism sector could play a dominant role, such as Luxembourg, Monaco, and Liechtenstein, all of which have ridiculously inflated GDP per capitas. Once you get to a British scale, let alone an American one, the impact of global financial centers like London or New York on GDP per capita becomes swamped by the overall economy.

8) American Alpha. Artificially lower risk premiums in the US means foreigners are willing to “irrationally” invest in American bonds at rates well beyond equilibrium. Here is Willem Buiter’s explanation of this phenomenon:

Some of the excess returns on US investment abroad relative to foreign investment in the US may have reflected true alpha, that is, true US alpha – excess risk-adjusted returns on investment in the US, permitting the US to offer lower financial pecuniary risk-adjusted rates of return, because, somehow, the US offered foreign investors unique liquidity, security and safety. Because of its unique position as the world’s largest economy, the world’s one remaining military and political superpower (since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991) and the world’s joint-leading financial centre (with the City of London), the US could offer foreign investors lousy US returns on their investments in the US, without causing them to take their money and run. This is the “dark matter” explanation proposed by Hausmann and Sturzenegger for the “alpha” earned by the US on its (negative) net foreign investment position. If such was the case (a doubtful proposition at best, in my view), that time is definitely gone. …

There is no chance that a nation as reputationally scarred and maimed as the US is today could extract any true “alpha” from foreign investors for the next 25 years or so. So the US will have to start to pay a normal market price for the net resources it borrows from abroad. It will therefore have to start to generate primary surpluses, on average, for the indefinite future. A nation with credibility as regards its commitment to meeting its obligations could afford to delay the onset of the period of pain. It could borrow more from abroad today, because foreign creditors and investors are confident that, in due course, the country would be willing and able to generate the (correspondingly larger) future primary external surpluses required to service its external obligations. I don’t believe the US has either the external credibility or the goodwill capital any longer to ask, Oliver Twist-like, for a little more leeway, a little more latitude. I believe that markets – both the private players and the large public players managing the foreign exchange reserves of the PRC, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, the Gulf states, Japan and other nations – will make this clear.

Such a painful adjustment is indeed what has been occuring in Mediterranean Europe. But note that his pessimistic and falsifiable predictions specifically in regards to the US – that there would be “a global dumping of US dollar assets, including US government assets” – have yet to happen.

9) Cheaper Land and Energy Inputs. Land in the US tends to be pretty cheap, outside the North-East, the SF Bay Area, and a few other prestige locations. Much cheaper than in developed Europe or in Japan. Energy inputs are also lower, specifically in relation to fuel, which is taxed at much lower rates than in Europe or Japan. This should lower the cost of business across the board and increase overall thoroughput.

global-fuel-tax

The only problem? The countries right next to the US here are Canada, Australia, and Japan – some of the biggest negative outliers.

10) Hedonics and GDP Fiddling. There are various claims that the US is really… generous at calculating its GDP. Perhaps “American exceptionalism” is just a statistical artifact? I haven’t studied national accounting practices on any detailed level, though pseudoerasmus has and he is skeptical, and I’m also a bit put off that a lot of the sites that make these claims tend to be libertarian goldbugs and LaRouche types. That said, I will admit to an intuitive sense that there might be something behind this. As the commentator Lazy Glossophiliac has pointed out a few times, many things that are either free or cheap in Europe and most of the rest of the world can be pretty damn expensive in the US. The healthcare industry is just the most blatant (and perhaps grotesque) example, accounting for a prodigal share of American GDP while delivering population health outcomes that are, in general, nothing to write home about. Americans dine out much more frequently than Europeans – the labor of chefs and waiters appears in GDP, while creating a home cooked meal does not. You can probably extend this to quite a lot of different things.

American Exceptionalism, East Asian Mediocrity

To sum up: At the technological edge of high IQ/high wealth per capita, there appears an interesting and puzzling disjoint between the US, which is a big positive outlier, and Japan and the rest of East Asia, which are big negative outliers. Adjusting for labor participation and hours worked, to get in effect a measure of productivity, largely resolves “American exceptionalism” relative to developed Western Europe, but if anything widens the chasm between the West and East Asia even further. Moreover, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand – all Anglo-derived settler societies that are culturally close to the US and enjoy low corruption and good institutions – are moderate negative outliers.

In general, possible explanations are either critically flawed in some way, or only partially explain some difference while deepening the puzzle around some other difference. For instance, cheaper energy inputs might appear to partially explain why the US is a positive outlier, but then it would make the question of why Canada and Australia are negative outliers – even though their fuel taxes are also low – all the more inscrutable. Beyond some fairly minimal conditions like having free markets, the quality of institutions do not appear to play any significant role.

Still, it is possible to identify a few factors that likely play some important role:

1) Economies of Scale – Clearly give the US and to a lesser extent, continental Europe, a boost. Many of the negative non-East Asian outliers are relatively isolated island nations with small populations, especially Australia and New Zealand.

2) Smart Fractions and the US – The two biggest rich positive outliers, the US and Israel, have many duller ethnic minorities but also enjoy an Ashkenazi Jewish cognitive elite. Moreover, a significant percentage of the world’s smartest and most ambitious people immigrates to the US.

3) Personality, Culture, IQ Structure – Apart from the partial exception of Singapore – a fact that is mitigated by its status as a financial city-state – all East Asian states economically underperform relative to where they “should” be at. This is The (Other) East Asian Exception. This leads me to believe that the cause of this must be something that is culturally or even biologically common to the region. Maybe it has something to do with a relative lack of creativity in terms of personality (in Nobel Prizes per capita, as in GDP per capita, Japan far more closely resembles Italy than Germany; while Korea has yet to win a single real, i.e. non-Peace, Prize); maybe it is a consequence of East Asia’s shame culture, which is more socially stultifying than Europe’s guilt culture, and can lead to inefficiencies like paying undue respect to an incompetent boss who just happens to be older; maybe it is simply that East Asian IQ is simply “worth” about 5 points less than European IQ due to its particular quirks or structure (specifically, the fact of the Asian advantage in verbal IQ being much more relatively modest relative to Whites); and/or maybe – and this is by far the most tentative hypothesis here – it might be that the East Asian IQ advantage over Europeans disappears in adulthood, meaning that Europeans still retain a relative preponderance in the fraction of smart 40-50-60 year olds who are responsible for most of the greatest scientific and cultural accomplishments.

4) Other Factors – This leaves only Finland and Canada to explain. Finland’s underperformance might be due to the lower S.D. of its national IQ, if the PISA tests are accurate. Moreover, Richard Lynn pegs Finnish IQ at a standard British 100. Perhaps, for whatever reason, Finns simply perform unduly well on PISA. If Lynn is correct, it would not even be an outlier. Or it could be their particular psychological profile, which might be unfavorable for the expression of ingenuity. Canada could be a modest negative outlier because it borders the US and loses too big a percentage of its smartest fractions to its giant southern neighbor.

 
• Category: Economics, Science • Tags: Economic Theory, IQ, Psychometrics, Race/IQ 
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248 Comments to "National Wealth and IQ at the Edge: American Exceptionalism, East Asian Mediocrity"

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  2. Could you put data for the various proposed non-IQ explanations in a datasheet? If so, then we can test them statistically instead of merely discussing them.

    Specifically, we can use this method: https://thewinnower.com/papers/using-bayes-factors-to-get-the-most-out-of-linear-regression-a-practical-guide-using-r and the equivalent frequentist version (fitting all possible models given a set of predictors, then finding that with the highest R2 adjusted value). I will write the code for analysis if you/someone makes me a nice dataset.

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  3. Japan has, in my opinion, the second strongest pop culture on Earth after the Anglophones. Their animation films http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studio_Ghibli
    pop music http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasutaka_Nakata
    and computer games http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon
    show a lot of creativity.
    My guess would be that East Asian confucianist traditions stifle innovation with their strict social order based on age and seniority. I remember (but I can’t source) an article that stated that being an innovator in a japanese business brought much bigger risks and far fewer advantages than in an american company.
    The US is an outlier because not only attracts the global smart fraction, but has clusters (Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Wall Street) that have specialized in discovering and harnessing talent in a manner that amplifies it’s effect.

  4. Reservations:

    1) not so sure about the national IQ calculation. More about referring to it as IQ.
    2) not so sure whether Anglo offshoots is a useful category. May be useful to drop all the data into a cluster analysis and see what the natural clusters of countries are.

    Also, perhaps compare with average wage or wealth rather than GDP per cap. Average wage captures the value of what people are incentivized to do, GDP perhaps some measure of productivity beyond what is transferred to the worker.

  5. Again chapeau for this overarching post. Very comprehensive. Re: American exceptionalism my money’s on economies of scale, flexibility (cognitive self-sorting), statehood (of the Federal Government), the “smart fractions” and self-sustaining legacy leadership. Combine two or three of these attributes together and you can explain Silicon Valley (flexibility + size), the Military-Industrial Complex (size + statehood) or most of the other world-class attributes of American power.

    I suspect that even if American immigration is dysgenic overall, that this is more than made up by these other factors, and especially all the (very) bright people who come. The U.S. really leads an amazing “global brain drain” (or global cognitive sorting..). The low-performers don’t do too much damage so long the historic majority runs the middle and lower rungs of administration. When the low-performers start taking over entire cities, counties or even states, then their corruption and dysfunction could take its toll. And of course, the gap between the self-segregating cognitive elite and the teeming masses is likely to become a real chasm..

  6. what is the IQ of Sephardic Jews?

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  7. Lynn estimates it’s around 98. Basically Sephardic Jews didn’t undergo the same level of selection for higher IQ as the Ashkenazi in Europe because they were not allowed to monopolize the high IQ demanding jobs by the Muslims. (Also I suppose that the higher IQ level of Germans, Poles, etc. relative to Arabs meant that the Sephardi could be smarter relative to the locals just by merely being about as smart as the duller European groups).

  8. I can try but I don’t know to what extent the exercise will be useful, because many of these factors are quite hard to quantify (e.g. geography).

    Anyhow, I think it’s best to carry on this conversation by email. I’ll try to send it to you tomorrow or on Sunday.

    ,

    Please expound on your IQ criticism. Do you object to using PISA figures? They correlate closely with other estimates including those by Lynn and Rindermann anyway. Personally I prefer them because of how standard, high sample, and internationally comparable they are.

    Finding international wage data is harder than for GDP and I don’t see how they would be more useful, quite the contrary in fact.

  9. In extreme cases, institutional factors do make a huge difference. Countries with a socialist (central planning) legacy – that is, East Central Europe, the ex-USSR, China, Vietnam – are still systemically much poorer than countries where markets have long functioned with at least some minimal degree of freedom, even though their IQs do not differ much from those of the US, Western Europe, and Japan.

    Well, to quote the venerable HBD Chick, where do institutions come from?

    But, as I’d said, there’s a good reason for that, and it’s not just because of a “legacy of communism” (after all, communism is largely gone now):

    To quote myself:

    A lot of people talk about the determining factors behind national success. Lots of factors have been invoked. The HBD-aware invoke (of course) average IQ, but many countries in the world show that that’s not enough. So other factors get invoked. Due to the correlational nature of these, assessing causation is difficult – unless you use behavioral traits, which are (sorry blank and half slatists) largely inherited.

    Here’s some of the factors that don’t matter:

    Size (see Japan, Finland, and any number of small dysfunctional countries)
    Diversity *per se* (e.g. Switzerland, Albania, China)
    Resources (e.g. Arab oil states, S. Korea)

    All that matters are two things: high average IQ, and high-trust people. You can even have several high-trust populations (e.g. Switzerland). And that’s all.

    “Diversity” becomes a problem, really, only when there’s one or more clannish populations in the mix. Virtually ALL the “diversity” problems currently being experienced by Western countries is conflict between the non-clannish base populations and one of more clannish minorities. Switzerland manages fine with three different (relatively) non-clannish populations. So does, for that matter, Belgium and even France (Occitania – future discussion). Meanwhile, “homogenous” Italy, Albania, and Greece flounder.

    Size, to the extent that it correlates with problems, only occurs because large states tend to encompass multiple populations – often clannish ones. So, trouble sometimes ensues. But size is not inherently a problem so long as the state manages to be primarily comprised of high-trust groups.

    When you look around the world, you can see that average IQ and non-clannish (or at least high-trust, in the case of the Japanese and other similar “in-betweeners” – possibly includes Singapore and Taiwan) people make the difference. All the rest stem from these. These two things can explain 100% of the variance (haven’t checked, but maybe I will).

    Of course, the challenge is that, with the possible exception of the Semai, there are no low-IQ non-clannish/high-trust populations, which are basically confined to NW Europe.

    The World Values Survey (among many other data) backs me up:

    But curiously, the Anglo offshoots are closer to East Asia here than they are to European-stock populations, so it is not at all obvious that it is an HBD issue.

    Everything is an HBD issue, Anatoly.

    In that instance, it just appears that it is really both the U.S. and East Asia that are outliers. The rest of the Anglosphere doesn’t seem anomalous then.

    It might have been helpful to do your analysis with the ex-communist nations included. That might have revealed if there was a deeper pattern. Especially since, unlike you, I don’t think there’s anything special about the legacy of communism for the outcomes in today’s world.

    For instance, while male and female IQ tends to be similar, though the latter have famously narrower distributions, it appears that at least on progressive matrices tests, a 5 point gap opens up during the 20s in favor of men and persists thereafter.

    That doesn’t appear to be actually true. This is an artifact of more attrition of males on the lower end and the greater male SD. Getting truly representative samples of adults is very difficult.

    Maybe it has something to do with a relative lack of creativity in terms of personality

    Bingo! Funny, the ABC series Fresh Off the Boat is based on this idea.

    I have more data to support this idea that I will reveal at a later date.

    But, primarily, it’s hard to argue with the World Values Survey data, or other data showing the same results like the GLOBE study. Success is a result almost entirely of the traits of the people in question. This affects not just intellectually ability, but institutional structure, worker productivity, etc. This all begins at basic day-to-day interaction, which ultimately gives you the structure of everything that follows. What might be interesting is if you could see if you could plot your outliers on the WVS map. It seems to more they are drawn towards one pole of the map and/or pushed away from other poles. Indeed, there’s this (opens image).

    There are many posts of mine that are clearly relevant here:

    Welcome Readers from Portugal! | JayMan’s Blog (on the inability of local wealth/resources to explain IQ gaps – causation clearly goes IQ -> development, not the other way around)

    “Racial Reality” Provides My 150th Post | JayMan’s Blog (more on national development and the fact that national differences long pre-date 20th century upheavals, like the World Wars or the rise of communism)

    Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality | JayMan’s Blog

    Anyways, very good post. This is an excellent point of reference, and if anything, serves to dash PC theories about national differences and highlight the importance of innate differences between people (which goes well beyond IQ and are in fact responsible for “institutions”) – as the example of Israel illustrates, which likely arose as per HBD chick’s theory.

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  10. I don’t know if mentioned but what about “hegemonic” premium; maybe being the sole hyper power has an effect on national wealth? Also re Israel the aid donations capital transfers from the U.S., as Noam Chomsky states, are not insubstantial.

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  11. Studies have shown that Asians infants are more passive than are European (or European-American) ones:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=vHrCuqliNQ8C&pg=PA178&lpg=PA178&dq=infants+passive+asian+european&source=bl&ots=7KQ4eO_YV0&sig=PMn24cRyBOhXQeb4agl5RSSq8K4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GCcpVY66GomeNu-MgOgF&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=infants%20passive%20asian%20european&f=false

    Asian cultures also tend to be more collectivistic.

    It may be that slightly higher average IQs do not compensate for greater passivity and less individualism, with respect to national “performance” or “achievement.”

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  12. “Why is the HBDsphere so damn interested in IQ, anyway?” for me there are hbd issues which are at least as intersting, especially differences in physical strength and differences in sexual attractivity. These issues do impact everyday life probably stronger than IQ differences. But still, of course, IQ is fascinating.
    A few points: I can not really imagine that east asians do cognitively mature faster than caucasians, while this is of course an important questions which should be studied further. At least the folk-sociology among east asian immigrants to my home country is that they see themselves maturing slower. This of course mainly reflects differences in the behavior in numerous social situations, on the partner market etc., but still is does not hint in this direction.
    Also, as it is already stated in the article, it is quite unlikely that verbal IQ has better economic returns than mathematical / spatial IQ, if anything the trend should be reversed. Engineering builds up more wealth than law.
    All in all I would say that GDP is determined by two factors: ability and capital. When ability is equal and GDP is different this leaves differences in capital. In the article those aspects are already included in the categories geography, resources and energy prices. Although this leaves a question about the underperformance of Australia etc. those differences still can probably explain in part the east asian underperformance. Although I think postcolonial studies etc. are 99% crap I also think western countries, and especially the USA somehow still profit of the fact that Europeans conquered and settled huge territories with fertile soils etc.
    And one maybe a little bit ridiculous idea: maybe physical strength also plays a role? Of course this is unlikely in a modern, automized, IT-based economy, but still an average 180 cm / 80 kg caucasian guy with strong hands and a IQ of 100 can work more than an average 170 cm / 60 kg japanese guy with an IQ of 103. And still today many people work with their hands.
    One last issue which is as far as I see omitted in the article: dependancy rates are not only different between different countries because of different labour participation, but also because of fertility. East Asian countries with extremely low fertility have low dependancy rates – for the moment, not in future, they are living some kind of demographic credit. So this makes their underperformance even more striking.

  13. Could it be that the Asian IQ lead over Europeans in childhood and adolescence closes or even reverses with age?

    No. Japan was at the top in the OECD adult skills study.

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  14. All I have argued is this. The United States, unlike most other rich countries, has all three elements : high hours worked per worker, high productivity (output per hour of work), and high employment-population ratio (mostly because of higher ratios for youth and old). Most other rich countries do not have all three in combination. Some have only 1, others have 2.

    The above are tautologically true decompositions. So the fact which need explaining is why the United States has all three elements, and most other rich countries do not. Any explanations which do not proceed from that observation, does not work.

    I think voluntarily chosen policy differences account for most of the differences in the rich countries’ GDP per capita. The reasons different policies are chosen by different rich countries of course must cite differences in culture, historical experience, personality traits, etc.

    The non-policy factors cited by Anatoly are either irrelevant, or make small contributions at best. (They can be calculated.)

    As for Chile and Argentina, Anatoly simply repeats an argument I have already refuted.

    Chile’s and Argentina’s GDP per capita are similar, but the underlying components are quite different. Chileans work longer than Argentinians and have lower productivity.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/AVHWPECLA065NRUG

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/RGDPTHCLA630NUPN

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/RGDPTHARA630NUPN

    Also, Argentina and Chile have had very different GDP/capita for most of their history :

    https://pseudoerasmus.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/southamerica1.gif

    What’s the only thing which has truly changed in Chile in the past 30 years ? Policy.

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  15. Another, more plausible theory, advanced by Griffe de Lion as well as Rindermann, is that some forms of IQ, most notably verbal, in which the European-East Asian gap is very modest or even non-existent, are relatively more important for economic success than mathematical aptitude, where the gap is substantial, or visuospatial ability, where it is as big as 10 points. (Lynn actually claims that Europeans are verbally smarter, but PISA shows otherwise, though it does confirm that the Asian/European gap in verbal IQ is much less than the mathematical one).

    How does one measure reading scores or verbal ability across different languages? It doesn’t seem possible to me. Is there any meaningful way to measure whether a person at the 90th percentile of reading ability in Japanese is better or worse than someone who is at the 90th percentile in English?

    Regarding verbal skills, of all foreign students I’ve seen at universities, East Asians are by far the worst at picking up English and speaking it well. They seem significantly worse than students from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Lating America.

  16. How does this “hegemonic premium” work ? Explain the mechanism.

  17. Silicon Valley does not preferentially contribute to US GDP. It contributes to world GDP via technological diffusion. Therefore, there is no reason, a priori, to cite the existence of SV-style high-tech culture as an important reason behind the US lead over other rich countries in GDP/capita.

  18. Thanks for writing this detailed post. I will add few things.

    -Sephardi Jews-

    Nobel per million stats: http://i.imgur.com/9qVfKCt.png

    As you can see Sephardi success is quite high. Either they have very high SD with avg iq of 98-100 (Italian Sephardi seem extremely successful) or their avg iq is higher, when you calculate it by taking nobel winning threshold as 140 Sephardi iq looks like 105-108. Also Lynn estimates Sephardi iq 98 and Ashkenazi iq 110. I think Ashkenazi avg iq is 115 and Sephardi iq would be higher too. Another problem may be difference between Sephardi Tehorim (Spanish then later Dutch/Ottoman Sephardi) and the recent more ”Mizrahi Sephardi”.

    -Iq and Income-

    Interestingly when you look at the relationship btw iq and income in US there are almost no exceptions.

    White American: IQ 100 / $ 54,857 (includes White Hispanics – probably closer to 60,000)
    East Asian: IQ 105 / $68,088
    Indian: IQ 110-112 / $86,135
    Ashkenazi: IQ 115 / $100,000

    5 point IQ difference equals to something like $14.000 income difference.

    -East Asian mediocrity-

    Only at highest levels (nobody knows why, may be related to hierarchy/authoritarian culture (selection), testosterone levels) but that really matters a lot. In Israel and US Ashkenazi smart fraction are extremely accomplished and has great impact on economic success.

    This post is really important to understand the importance of smart fraction:

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com.tr/2014/12/quantum-gdp.html

    Very few people discovered quantum mechanics and few people understand it. But ”today a third of GDP is attributable to quantum mechanics” – in developed countries. (If the mean is low you won’t have the necessary smart fraction to produce tech related to QM)

    -Spatial iq-
    Spatial iq doesn’t seem to be as important as verbal/mathematical iq. I’m seeing different numbers but Ashkenazi verbal/math iq are probably between 115-125 (verbal esp high) and spatial btw 98-100. (their non selected iq from Middle Eastern times) It doesn’t seem to effect Ashekanazi success in todays math/machine civilization.

    And one last thing: there doesn’t seem to be a European pop with avg iq higher than 100 maybe except Huguenots. (assimilated today)

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  19. Regarding East Asia, Anatoly and most other commenters completely ignore that productivity in manufacturing is VERY high in East Asia — much higher than its GDP/capita would suggest. Japan basically converged with the United States in manufacturing productivity around 1990. Almost all of the difference in the economy-wide labour productivity between the United States and Japan is therefore due to differences in non-manufacturing, mostly services.

    From this paper

    http://scholar.harvard.edu/jorgenson/publications/industry-origins-us-japan-productivity-gap

    I’ve uploaded a chart illustrating the above :

    https://pseudoerasmus.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/tfp-gap-japan-usa.jpg

    This, again, points to voluntarily chosen policy differences as a major determinant of the gap in GDP/capita between Japan and the United States. Japan strongly regulates its service sector in ways which preserve small scales and multiple layers of distribution. The Japanese have had many opportunities to deregulate in this area, but have declined. People want it kept that way.

    This needs to be kept in mind when generalisations are made about East Asia.

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  20. I forgot Argentina’s hours worked

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/AVHWPEARA065NRUG

  21. I would guess it’s not possible to really map, but how does risk-taking factor into it? Certain western European populations are portrayed as more risk-taking, more free-spirited, more adventurous. If nothing else, free of group consensus, strict social codes and a sense of limits that is present in the relevant Asian populations. Can it come down to desire as the defining factor?

  22. “Señor Pinochet, Argentina is the exact opposite – but their GDP per capita is virtually the same, as – who’d have guessed it? – are their national IQs”
    -I seriously doubt this is any longer true. Argentina has been notorious for understating its inflation since 2007. Also, Chile was, for most of its history, known as a mining country, and Argentina as a first-world country. Give it time.
    As for the explanations in this post, I only find the cheaper land and other natural resources one plausible. Argentina and the United States had huge productivity premia in the late 18th century due to the large amount of land per worker there.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=KFZHAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=wealth+of+nations&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B38kVYaCG5LZoASch4DIBQ&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=north&f=false

    There’s another big missing explanation in this post: protectionist policies in Japan and Korea. According to The Korean, protectionism pays a large role in services productivity in South Korea:

    http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2014/10/koreas-labor-productivity-and-how-to.html

    And in Japan, trade as a percentage of GDP has always been surprisingly low. Also, as Noah Smith points out, Japan never had a neoliberal revolution.

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  23. All this IQ gobbledegook is fine and IQ as one of the metrics, definitely, has its place in the economic assessments. What missing, however, from all these economists’ efforts to employ mathematics in the issue, is:

    1. “The War, more precisely Continental War, issue–a single, most important, factor which defines national intellect;
    2. The structure of GDP, which matters and which defines the national skill levels. US GDP is case in point.

    Huntington’s 14 points are as relevant today as they ever were, as well as Rifkin’s argumentation in “The End Of Work”. No matter the goodness of best fit lines–in the end it is what one can and can not produce, which defines a real weight.

  24. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Interesting topic and a lot of fascinating hypothesis, for what its worth I think the adult stage Iq variance is the least likely explanation. I’m confident if we had large accurate sample size testing of whites and east Asians in there late 20′s to early 50′s we would find the current pattern more or less repeated. A point of consideration in this is that Iq correlates within nations regarding wealth( as you well know) and east Asians earn on average more than whites in America , and as far as I know, Canada, Australia etc.

    I think it highly likely that whatever the explanation its likely to be multifaceted. I do wonder about how much of GDP is a statistical artifact. Given that Europeans have so many things covered by the government. Obviously GDP proxies strongly with wealth, BUT to whatever extent GDP isn’t an accurate proxy for wealth, then looking at GDP to uncover the relationship between wealth and IQ will have some inaccuracy built in.

    Another consideration is Social capitol, I have heard (and I confess ignorance, I don’t have data, perhaps you do) that in many parts of east Asia corruption runs higher. They are less trusting of each other. And i think more importantly -LESS CARING OF EACH Other-which might be a different animal all together from being distrustful or likely to rip off. In my estimate whenever you encounter a large variance in behavior between two groups, genes probably play a role. So it could be something like social capitol bio diversity at work. Social intelligence then? Which might be a reason for the importance of verbal iq, at any rate this is of course speculation.

    I know people think homogenous societies have more social capitol than diverse ones like the US. Putnams famous detractions on diversity come to mind. But consider the following point, populations that can tolerate and trust outgroups to such an extent to create succesful diverse socities probably have high social capitol. IF indeed social capitol is a largely heritable trait that may bode poorly for such countries as there population changes. But not because of diversity per se, but because of the new groups with lower social capitol moving in.

    You point to countries that have a lot of diversity, like Isreal and the US, and consider the possibility of a smart fraction lifting the countries NET GDP. I suspect this explains a small part of the variance , but not all of it. A very left wing person might point to this as evidence of diversities benefits. But maybe more accurate conceptualized as the benefits of having a society that can tolerate, welcome and allow diversity. I know this still leaves some countries as negative outliers, like Canada etc-which would seem to plausibly have high social capitol.

    Which brings me to looking at basic cultural factors. The US is a brand name, and might enjoy an inflated value to its product. Petro dollars and what not. Maybe like how our keyboard is QWERST instead of ABCD, history plays a role. The US got to top as an investment spot and it has a lot of inertia behind it. Perhaps this is a hard thing to change. Surely, we have all seen signs in the past decade that it is changing, that relative to the rest of the world america is less exceptional. At any rate, fascinating article, and should give a small pause to the Iq fanatics. NOt because IQ isn’t important-it is probably the most important variable we can concretely lay hands on- but because we have good evidence to show other factors at play.

  25. @ Cpluskx
    that was an interesting post. I have a few questions:

    is the high medium IQ of the south asian population in the USA the result of selective immigration or does it reflect a medium IQ of the south asian population as a whole which is only in our times temporary depressed by poor living conditions in south asia?

    I thought spatial and mathematical IQ were more or less the same or at least highly correlated and verbal IQ – while of course still correlated to both via general factor g – would be something different. Know you say mathematical and verbal IQ are one category and spatial IQ is something else. Do you have any literature I could read about this? Also I wonder now it is even possible to measure mathematical IQ. As far as I see regular IQ Tests do have two types of questions: verbal questions as for example analogies and ravens matrices. The latter measure spatial IQ I think.

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  26. Many excellent replies all round. I will be tackling them in approximately the order they appear from now on.

    @Jayman,

    It might have been helpful to do your analysis with the ex-communist nations included. That might have revealed if there was a deeper pattern. Especially since, unlike you, I don’t think there’s anything special about the legacy of communism for the outcomes in today’s world.

    The reason I excluded ex-Communist nations right now (as opposed to, say, in 2035) is that 25 years just isn’t long enough for them to finish their convergence from the artificially depressed economic state they were in under central planning. This is especially so when you consider that for some of them, especially the ex-Soviet states, most of the 1990s were “wasted” on the structural transition from a rigidly centrally planned system to free markets with some semblance of enforceable legal noms. Once their average growth rates for some reasonable period of time, such as a decade, stop gaining relatively on Western Europe/The US, only then can we say that their convergence has finished and we can start making comparisons.

    Example – Estonian society is less clannish and has considerably greater trust than, say, Italy. It also has better institutions, greater ease of business, and lower corruption. It is frequently cited as a star reformer. It is in the Eurozone. It has a high IQ, higher than Italy’s and not far behind Finland’s (the gap is mostly due to the Russian minority). I hope you will not dispute any of that. But it still has a considerably lower GDP per capita and a very considerably lower productivity level than Italy. As you would expect, the gap between them is closing at a considerable rate. Relative to 2003, Italy’s real output per capita has declined by close to 10%, whereas Estonia’s has grown by 40%.

    Now one problem is that the area where Communism came to power is coterminous with areas which were outside of the Hajnal Line and had an exogamous community family system. This makes it easy for people who insist on looking at things from too much of an HBD prism to be confounded. They should bear in mind that other factors like unfinished convergence could (and are) playing a very big role as well. One really obvious way to illustrate this is to ask why despite broadly similar IQ and trust profiles, the European Med (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) is still considerably wealthier and very considerably more productive than the Visegrad (Czech/Slovak, Hungary, Poland) and Baltic nations. And why the latter are closing the gap.

    That doesn’t appear to be actually true. This is an artifact of more attrition of males on the lower end and the greater male SD. Getting truly representative samples of adults is very difficult.

    This seems like a plausible explanation. Is this a hypothesis or is there a citation/quote?

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  27. Nota bene :

  28. @Jayman
    “Where the institutions came from?”

    In that case, Jayman, the institutions came with the Red army and where not the result of the local population propensity.

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  29. Anatoly,

    How would you explain the phenomenon of highly successful diasporas from some of the less well-performing countries? For example, people from Greece and Italy (where nutrition and other factors that affect IQ are satisfactory) tend to be very upwardly mobile when they immigrate or work abroad. Is this because mostly high-IQ nationals are impelled and succeed in going abroad? Or does it point to systemic problems outside of cognitive considerations, such as corruption, within the countries that prevent a more stable, prosperous economy?

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  30. High avg iq of South Asian population in US is a result of selective immigration. Avg iq in South Asia will increase with better nutrition / iodine sufficiency / becoming more machine society but it won’t reach 110. I think 95 would be ceiling for South Asia. (if no recent strong selection for iq or artificial intervention)

    For the verbal/math/spatial iq you can look at this and references:

    http://web.mit.edu/fustflum/documents/papers/AshkenaziIQ.jbiosocsci.pdf

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  31. There’s another big missing explanation in this post: protectionist policies in Japan and Korea. According to The Korean, protectionism pays a large role in services productivity in South Korea

    Yes, see my comment above on Japanese manufacturing productivity, which is much higher than its overall productivity. The same with South Korea.

  32. Great post Anatoly

    Jayman as always providing good insights. You might to take a look at the work of Jayman and Hbdchick. They have gone beyond the casual focus on IQ to see what else lies behind differences in economic(and other) differences but they remain within the HBD sphere. Turns out there is more to HBD than just IQ. :)

    On the question of East Asian’s lagging behind I believe the great statistician La Griffe du Lion figured this out:

    SMART FRACTION THEORY II: WHY ASIANS LAG

    http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/sft2.htm

    @Jayman
    When can we expect this new post of yours? Been waiting for an update for a while now and it sounds right down my alley

  33. Anatoly, Krugman’s chart only shows growth in GDP per working-age adult since 1993. It does not show convergence in the level of GDP/waa. The USA is still higher than Europe or Japan in this respect :

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-EMpadQx4hM/S_sDwsxWuaI/AAAAAAAAARg/N9g-psKyWKI/s1600/japan3.png

  34. If there’s one thing I know about MANOVAs, it’s their resistance to solving the validity question.

    This article is a very good case in point.

    Sorry AK, but anyone seriously interested in socio-economic solutions – which have to include the crucial biometric of mortality/disease rates – would dismiss these correlations as ‘noise.’

    BTW, American ‘exceptionalism’ wasn’t an envious nod at ‘Manifest Destiny :’ it was Uncle Joe quipping about Yankee hubris/delusion. Perhaps currently best manifested as General Breedlove.

    Plain ole ‘nutjob’ does it for me. :)

  35. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    White people spend an inordinate amount of time and energy on how whites have a higher iq than blacks. And this is supposed to explain everything you need to know about black people. With blacks, IQ is king and explains everything.

    With Asians, white people cannot just look at IQ because Asians have higher IQs and they do not want to be pigeon holed by IQ like black people are. So they invent a lot of reasons why IQ matters with blacks, but not with Asians.

    They I’ll say things like creativity and collective society, ignoring that relative to black people whites are more collective and less creative than black people. Yet this is seen as a positive for whites.

    What does this all mean? It just means that white people are trying to game the system by trying to prove that their race is the superior and deserves this or that.

    That is all. Welcome to America in the 21st century. :)

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  36. Anatoly mentioned my hunch about the cause of the US per capita GDP exceptionalism. I’ll expand on it here. He’s seen me do it before, but this is a bigger audience, so there are more opportunities for criticism.

    The US has a more market-oriented economy than most other rich countries. I think that a more market-oriented system will tend to throw up more economic activity, while not necessarily achieving more customer satisfaction.

    The US healthcare system spends much more money on the last year of life than other rich countries’ healthcare systems. Why? It’s largely a for-profit system. It maximizes revenue and profit, not the number of healthy man-years. The general breakdown of the body in the last year of life is a great excuse to order up more machines. Medications are overprescribed, procedures are overperformed, the amount of economic activity is maximized. Spending per patient breaks world records while life expectancy stays safely behind them.

    The US has less public and more private transportation than most rich countries. We can debate for a long time what’s better, but obviously the car model spends more money per passenger-mile than the train model.

    The US higher education system is more market-oriented than those of most rich countries. At the highest end it’s better than them too, at the middle and low ends it’s worse. Without looking it up I suspect that even at the low end the US system spends more money per student than the educational systems of most rich countries simply because it’s more market-oriented. The more lawyers colleges can put out, the more money they make. Who cares if the economy needs that many lawyers? The silent hand? Tell that to all of those unemployed law school grads.

    Overproduction is the common thread here.

    The US retirement system is more market-oriented than those of most rich countries. The silent hand maximizes the amount of trading in the stock and bond markets, the brokerage fees, the salaries of the mutual fund managers. Are American retiress living better for all that economic activity than the retirees in less market-oriented rich countries? I doubt it.

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  37. Thanks.

    I guess that particular theory goes out of the window, then.

    A few additional observations:

    For example, Korea is among the three lowest-performing countries when comparing the skills proficiency of 55-65 year-olds; however, when comparing proficiency among 16-24 year-olds, Korea ranks second only to Japan. Similarly, older Finns perform at around the average among the countries taking part in the Survey of Adult Skills while younger Finns are, together with young adults from Japan, Korea and the Netherlands, today’s top performers.

    Although that’s the result of Flynn.

    pp. 103: Table showing gap between 16-24 yo’s and 55-65 yo’s. Korea has the highest gap, which is not surprising because out of all these countries it was the only one that was truly a Third World country in 1950. (Also: A strike against Unz’s theory of the East Asian Exception to socio-economic influences on IQ). Japan also has a gap, but it is moderate and comparable to that of France, the Netherlands, Spain, Finland, Poland, Italy, Germany, and Estonia. This is not too surprising either since its level of socio-economic development in 1950 was not to dissimilar from that of Spain, Poland, and Italy (though Germany, France, and the Netherlands were considerably richer and more advanced).

    pp. 108: Brightest 55-65 yo’s in the US, as measured by problem solving capacity in technological environments. So some support for theory that US exceptionalism is a legacy thing. Though it should be noted that the Anglo countries, Sweden, and the Netherlands are not far behind. (Though Sweden and the Netherlands are very productive).

    … Okay, this report is really fascinating. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Better to continue this in another blog post.

  38. Now one problem is that the area where Communism came to power is coterminous with areas which were outside of the Hajnal Line and had an exogamous community family system. This makes it easy for people who insist on looking at things from too much of an HBD prism

    You can never look at things too much from the “HBD prism”, I say. :)

    The data back me up. We know that the heritability of key behavioral traits, views and attitudes, and major life outcomes are all highly heritable. What’s more, and much more key here, these things aren’t heavily affected by within cohort environmental variation (between is a different story). This is affirmed by large behavioral genetic studies from national samples (of “diverse” countries, like the U.S. or Italy). If local conditions were a factor in affecting key variables of interest, then it’d show up in the shared environment, since children growing up together should be more similar than those growing up in completely different parts of the country. Of course, extended twin studies break it down even further (see The Son Becomes The Father | JayMan’s Blog).

    Once their average growth rates for some reasonable period of time, such as a decade, stop gaining relatively on Western Europe/The US, only then can we say that their convergence has finished and we can start making comparisons.

    Fair enough.

    Example – Estonian society is less clannish and has considerably greater trust than, say, Italy.

    Northern Italy or Southern Italy? Italy is like two (or perhaps three) countries in one. In terms of GDP per capita, Estonia seems more comparable to Southern Italy right now than Northern Italy. In terms of corruption, it seems more in line with Northern Italy, though.

    They should bear in mind that other factors like unfinished convergence could (and are) playing a very big role as well. One really obvious way to illustrate this is to ask why despite broadly similar IQ and trust profiles, the European Med (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) is still considerably wealthier and very considerably more productive than the Visegrad (Czech/Slovak, Hungary, Poland) and Baltic nations.

    To be sure (I’ll come back to that). But taking a look at the map of GDP per capita in PPP across Europe (2008, seen here A Tale of Three Maps | JayMan’s Blog), it seems the West Slavs and the Balts fit in with southern Iberia and southern Italy (the low IQ areas), though Greece is somewhat ahead, all things considered (though, so is Ireland).

    However, all that said, along the lines of what J. P. Rushton said about India, development is no guarantee of the eventually matching Western levels. I don’t doubt that the economies of these nations are still “recovering”, however, I don’t expect them to get very far, over all. But sure, we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

    But back to this point:

    Now one problem is that the area where Communism came to power is coterminous with areas which were outside of the Hajnal Line and had an exogamous community family system.

    It’s not like the deficiencies – or broadly, the differences – between East and West (and North and South, for that matter) end merely at economics. They are visible in a whole suite of national characteristics, many of which are regularly featured on my Twitter feed (one of which was recently discussed by Steve Sailer):

    Which country would be the perfect setting for a “Fast & Furious” / “Mad Max” crossover sequel?

    Even driving behavior follows the Hajnal line. Sailer gave video samples of Russian driving in an earlier post. Road Rage, clean water, views on homosexuality, drinking, homicide, etc. aren’t just the legacy of communism.

    Interestingly, in many of these characteristics, South Korea clusters with the other countries in that corner of the World Values Survey map. It’s not just the commies.

    It’s entirely possible that even a high IQ society is stunted from reaching Western levels by a lack of high trust (or other features that make life difficult in clannish honor societies). Perhaps Russia and China will never match nearby nations for that reason. I will also argue that low openness to experience (a hallmark of a clannish society) seems to correlate with low creativity; societies that score low seem to lack the ability to produce like Western nations can (this will be part of a future post).

    Here’s the cite on the sex gaps in IQ:

    Are apparent sex differences in mean general intelligence created by sample restriction and increased male variance? (2009)

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  39. Sephardi Jews-

    Nobel per million stats: http://i.imgur.com/9qVfKCt.png

    As you can see Sephardi success is quite high.

    How Sephardic are they?

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  40. Regarding East Asia, Anatoly and most other commenters completely ignore that productivity in manufacturing is VERY high in East Asia — much higher than its GDP/capita would suggest. Japan basically converged with the United States in manufacturing productivity around 1990. Almost all of the difference in the economy-wide labour productivity between the United States and Japan is therefore due to differences in non-manufacturing, mostly services.

    Robots?

  41. Sephardim aren’t arab jews. Most of iberian or real sephardim “immigrate” for other european countries as Netherland and Britain during “inquisition”. Italiots and greek jews also seems to be a two particular jewish collectivities. Stop generalizing “sephardic” term for all of jews in middle east.
    If XIX physiologists, criminologists and psychologics are really right, then geniuses are more like “neurosis”. East asians are too “perfect” to have a lot of unbalanced outliers. Perfect in a evolutive perspective, not moral.

  42. “Where the institutions came from?”

    In that case, Jayman, the institutions came with the Red army and where not the result of the local population propensity.

    You sure about that?

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  43. Curious people spend a large amount of time trying to figure out how the observed distribution of scientific and technological achievement, as well as of wealth, came about. IQ is an important tool in that search. It explains a lot, but not everything.

    “relative to black people whites are more collective and less creative than black people.”

    Creativity is best measured by results. What have blacks created?

  44. Nice, Anatoly! A comprehensive post covering a long list of interesting issues.

    Panda’s 2 cents:

    There’re many conflicting ( or “conflicting”) data suggesting potentially many conflicting conclusions. How come? One of the major reasons that has been overlooked is perhaps what’s the comparison basis, without which one can easily reach the conclusion that American Exceptionalism, East Asian Mediocrity.

    The Americans and the East Asians were/are not at the equal comparison basis, not then 300 years ago, not now (slightly better though).

    As we all know that whenever 2 things are compared at a different basis, we’re comparing apple and orange, then of course conflicting conclusions.

    Here Panda has to repeatedly introduce two key concepts that are almost completely missing in all the major scholar works Panda comes across – “Civilisational Advantage” , longwith the “Multiply Effect” it carries.

    One shall have no problem understanding why we were/are not at the equal basis after knowing what is “Civilisational Advantage”:

    Do we clearly realise when discussing HBD, don’t we, that we’re been living under the absolute world dominance of Western Civilisation (by and large Anglo-Saxon-German-Franco-Ashkenazi) for the last 300 years at least?

    – We speak/write English as the world language, dressed in suits&tie, listen to pop&rap…

    - USD is unconditionally the world researve currency with which all major commodities are priced, (btw, the only 2 centres that dertermine the final price of commodities and everything else including what your labour worth are NYC and London).

    - We are under the financial structure (e.g. fundamentally basic issues like what are the general practices of Finance, what is counted as GDP? how nominal GDP is calculated, how much each wroth in the market, what’s the productivity and how it’s valued, etc, all the data comparison points) theoritically set up by Anglo-Saxon authors almost exclusively…

    THIS is what Panda would call “Civilisational Advantage” and its “Multiply Effect” (both reasonable and unresonable, across board in economics, market, culture, geopolitics, etc ) that the Western civilisation currently enjoys.

    Our comparison basis therefore, is not the same!

    Of course, as a civilisation dominated by Western “Civilisational Advantage”, the East Asia (led historically by Chinese Civilisation, recently spearheaded by Japan) can make things at the similar universal value as Western civilisation , such as a hammer, a sewing maching, a computer, etc, yet for the vast majority of services (which are priced heavily in nominal GDP, hence weath calculation), it is not only noy universal valued and but also contains large differences in market prices – hence“Multiply Effect” of “Civilisational Advantage”. This has immense impact on all the “conflicting “data that Anatoly described. Simplely consider some of the most obvious:

    1. why the market value of this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85Fc2amPf34) , produced by people with > 120IQ , is about 10 bucks, oke, 50.

    while the market value of this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXALGD7G25Q), produced by people with perhaps combined IQ of 120 , is about multi-millions?

    Mind you these count as “GDP, GDP/per cap”, and “productivity” in today’s world.

    2. why the market value of cloth like these (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah89Ra5fcpU) is under 20 bucks ,

    while the market value of a RL Polo suit or a pair of Pepe Jeans worth 10 or 100 times more?

    Mind you these count as “GDP, GDP/per cap”, and “productivity” in today’s world.

    3. why a 90 IQ full time secretary job of a regular markting firm based in US starts at USD 40,000, while a 130 IQ full time electronic engineer job based in Taiwan is at USD 26,000 at market value ?

    Mind you these count as “GDP, GDP/per cap”, and “productivity” in today’s world.

    4. Why any 85 IQ half time native English teacher of an evening course in China is at least USD 24,000, while a 135 IQ full time PhD lab researcher job in the same city worths probably the half of it?

    Mind you these count as “GDP, GDP/per cap”, and “productivity” in today’s world.

    etc.

    Because of “Civilisational Advantage” , longwith the “Multiply Effect” it carries, not strictly according to IQ ranking though, : )

    To suggest that the average American real productivity is higher than, or almost catch up with, that of Japan, or even that of South Korea, is a joke, if you have ever lived in these countries. Mind you 1990′s Japan had almost demolished the entire high tech industry of the US prior to the “Plaza Accord” under the gunpoint.

    “Average productivity”? Pauleez! If USD is not the world’s reserve currency today, or even English not the langue franca any more of the world communication, the differences would be even much larger.

    2 things in the begining made the Anglo-Saxon dominating the world:

    1. The generation of Britain’s Industry Revolution (and perhaps 2 or 3 generations thereafter) soemhow had WAY MORE THAN 100 average IQ, Panda guesses.

    2. A historical coincidence that Ming China burned their entire fleet voluntarily and closed the border to the outside world eversince, before conquered by the barbarian Manchus (hence China – the leader of East Asia Civilisation was gone to dogs), while at the almost the same era, the West discovered the New World (Americas+Australia – the size of entire the old Eurasia) , together with all the minerals, real estates/value, natural resources…, without any competition at all, hence the sheer size of almost freelunch-alike wealth basis laying the firm fundation for its later on industrialisation and world-wide empire building, in order to form this “Civilisational Advantage” we see today.

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  45. How would you explain the phenomenon of highly successful diasporas from some of the less well-performing countries? For example, people from Greece and Italy (where nutrition and other factors that affect IQ are satisfactory) tend to be very upwardly mobile when they immigrate or work abroad.

    Selective migration. The bigger the barrier, the better the immigrant (compare Muslims in the U.S. vs Muslims in Europe), typically.

  46. I continue with my theory that smart east asian fraction are overwhelming composed by “high achievers” ( kind of gifted) and lower proportion of the gifted-gifted and creative-gifted types. A qualitative difference cause by personality differences.

  47. “Spatial iq doesn’t seem to be as important as verbal/mathematical iq.”

    I’m not aware of any Jews who contributed to the Industrial Revolution. Jewish contributions to science have been almost entirely in theory. Experimental science, discovery through tinkering with physical objects, the sort of stuff that Edison and Tesla did, even the sort of stuff that Korolyov and von Braun did – I don’t think that Jews have ever done that. And I’m Jewish by ancestry.

    I doubt all science and technology will ever be confined to theory.

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  48. From the current 81 to supposely 95 – 1SD that is, it’s a heck of a lot of Flynn :)

    Where South Asians originated from? Originally from ME Arabs, Persians and Turks ( all with mid 80s IQ, yes, they are now better nutritioned, with iodine sufficiency, many, such as the Irianians and Turks, are becoming more machine societies, but hey, still mid 80s IQ currently), before mixing with South Asian indigenous tribes (mid 70s IQ).

    The combination of people of mid 80s IQ and people with 70s IQ reaching 95, or like some said 110, is an revolutionarily giant leap forward for the mankind, don’t you think?

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  49. I just realized that I typed “silent hand” instead of “invisible hand”. Funny.

  50. says:
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    If I recall correctly, only one is half-Ashkenazi, others are all completely Sephardic.

  51. If I do a caste-name analysis of the annual National Merit Semifinalist list for California
    ( same pattern applies for other states )

    South Indian Brahmin = 35%
    North Indian Brahmin = 10%
    North Indian Merchant ( inc Jains, Sindhis ) = 20%
    Forward Caste Dravidians = 20%
    Kayasth ( North Indian scribe ) = 5%
    All these castes add up to 15% to 20% of Indian population and less than 50% of South Asian diaspora

    the rest ( inc Sikhs, Patels, Caribbean hindus ) = 10%

    the rest category of non-elite castes, easily account for about 50% of the total Indian diaspora
    and win just 10% of slots

    The same applies to most spelling bee winners, Intel science talent winners

  52. Indian IQ is caste dependent

    About 70% of the Indian population gets affirmative action quota and is genetically lower IQ and lower caste

    The 112 IQ study for Indian IQ, I dont know the caste composition

    If you do caste name analysis of winners of elite contests like California National Merit Semifinalist, you will find 90% of the winners are from the elite castes, about 15% to 20% of Indian population

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  53. Japan has low productivity because Japanese are less likely to fire unproductive workers. There are both institutional and cultural(some commenters have used terms like “collectivist” earlier) incentives for this, but whichever one emphasizes, the point is that much of the unproductivity has to do with what you could call less cut-throat ruthlessness on the part of employers. Incidentally, when most people write about “productivity” it is implied to be a good thing which one always want to raise. But one can argue that not firing people as often leads to greater social cohesion, less instability, etc. Due to their obsession over particularly narrow economic metrics, economists and financial “experts” have been saying bone-headed things about Japan for decades now, how it’s a basket case economy, how productivity is low, and all this crap about how things are going to be a disaster for the in the future as a result of these things(“bug in search of a windshield” is one useful idiot’s phrase). But the country remains one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, high life expectancy, low crime, low unemployment, etc.

    Also in Japan it’s common for workers to stay at the same firm for their career instead of changing companies more often as you see in the U.S. for example. This is obviously strongly related to firings being less common, but this tendency should be pointed out because it’s important in its own right. It has the same impacts as well, it tends to have a downward impact on productivity and dynamism but arguably is good for stability and cohesion.

    I do not see the evidence that a lack of innovation is the “problem”(I put problem in quotes because it’s not clear to me high productivity is as important as most people assume it to be). That annoying buzz word, innovation, is not something easily measured. When people do come up with ways of trying to measure, like patents per capita or something(I’m skeptical how well these actually measure “innovation”) Japan usually ranks high. So I think that explanation of East Asians not being creative is based on little more than stereotypes and Western wish-fulfillment.

    East Asians often innovate in ways that are not as valued by Westerners by the way. An example are production practices. Look up what “Kanban” is if you want a quick example, but suffice to say, Japanese have been extremely innovative in these less sexy ways and it has a lot to do with why a lot of for example American manufacturing has lost out since the 70s. But most people dismiss this type of innovation because they personally do not value it. Of course they value the consumer products that these methods allow to be produced in an affordable way, but that’s not going to get in the way of talking about how awesome we are and how East Asians are stifled, not creative, passive, and other vulgar nonsense.

    On the point about how Japanese are not creative I could also make points about the impact of Japanese culture, but some other commenters have already pointed this out so I don’t have to bother.

    I focus on Japan in this post but much of what I say is probably true to varying extents in South Korea and other northeast Asian countries.

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  54. More data is needed on gini and income distributions in these countries. The USA and UK benefit disproportionately from having large firms headquartered in their cities, which in turn is an artifact, to some extent , of their recent civilizational dominance. If much of apples manufacturing is done in China, back office work in India and research in Israel that artificially inflates american GDP.

    And as another comment above noted, traditional societies are going to have lower gdps than atomized consumer countries. A businessman and his strong independent career woman wife who spends all day at her government job are going to hire a nanny and pay for daycare etc. Not so in traditional Malaysia or somewhere where young girls don’t dream of snagging the corner office, where grandparents stay nearby, where public transport is common, where ghetto thugs and white flight haven’t forced people to buy and sell houses every few years. Atomized consumerism began in Europe and was perfected in America. The rest of the world cannot be judged until capitalist liberalism has destroyed their family networks and other traditional non monetized social systems and replaced everything with trade and contact.

  55. Also the claim by Willen Buiter that the U.S. will need to generate surpluses to meet the demands of its borrowing abroad is economic nonsense. It is based on a misunderstanding of how money is created(and it is created, there should be no confusion about that) and also ignores that every transaction is two-sided. For the U.S. to be unable to continue to “borrow abroad” by being the consumer giant it is, buying stuff everyone else produces, that means China and the rest will not longer be able to produce and sell all the stuff they do, which isn’t good news for their economies either. Were the U.S. to suddenly be unable to consume at current levels, that would be a disaster for producers as well.

    But since the U.S. has control of its own currency, unlike the Mediterranean countries of Europe(the main reason that comparison is worthless), there is no threat of the United States running out of dollars or being unable to finance its debt(inflation, empirically is not a significant either). There is also not much threat of a global dumping of U.S. dollar assets any time soon.

  56. Thiel says the world is concentrating too much on bits, and not enough on atoms, which could be a way of saying too much theory and not enough objects.

    https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/peter-thiel-on-the-future-of-innovation-77628a43c0dd

    Perhaps the European genius is (or was) more closely connected to the physical world, while the Jewish genius is more theoretical (and verbal). No doubt this has to do with differing occupations in history.

  57. There is also some evidence that within the same country people from traditional wheat growing regions are are more individualistic than people from rice growing regions (even if they are city dwellers with no connection to agriculture).

    I wonder how a GDP comparison between rice and wheat growing regions in China would look like.

  58. Anatoly Karlin: Please expound on your IQ criticism. Do you object to using PISA figures? They correlate closely with other estimates including those by Lynn and Rindermann anyway. Personally I prefer them because of how standard, high sample, and internationally comparable they are.

    Finding international wage data is harder than for GDP and I don’t see how they would be more useful, quite the contrary in fact.

    I don’t have any beef about using a measure that is a composite of “the average of the Math, Science, and Reading component in PISA 2009.”

    I’m not keen on calling it IQ though. There’s no real evidence of that – that the Australians have a 3 point IQ advantage on the US, or Finland practically has IQ 107.

    With Finland for instance, when it’s actually tested, it falls average. E.g. see Roivainen – “Are Cross-National Differences in IQ Profiles Stable? A Comparison of Finnish and U.S. WAIS Norms” or the standardisation samples cited by Flynn – http://tinyurl.com/ls64847.

    Moreover, when you break down their PISA, their advantage is strongly female – http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2015/03/24-brown-center-report-loveless?cid=00900015020089101US0001-03281. Do they have this large sex difference with much smarter women or something, or is the PISA not actually capturing “IQ” that well?

    Re: wages, it depends on what you want to know about wealth.

    If you want to know how productive and economically busy a country is on the world stage relative to its population, you probably do want GDP per capita.

    If you want to know how much value people living in those societies are capable of getting the international market to transfer to them in the form of wages and wealth, then you may want to know about their wages and their wealth.

    Annual GDP reflects value of “all final goods and services produced within a country in a given year”. If a country’s people are perhaps involved with markets that don’t necessarily have the end result of final production of anything in their country, yet are clearly being highly compensated for their work (so clearly its very valuable to people who actually own the wealth), GDP per capita could give an varying result from wages and wealth.

    Either way, I think the comparisons of wealth and wages to PISA and “IQ” would add context, so if you’re interested, data for a subset of OECD that has these indicators and overlaps with your dataset:

    http://i.imgur.com/qb0ZcGQ.png / http://i.imgur.com/vzKJlqa.png – average 2009 wage vs PISA09 PPP / Exchange Rate

    http://i.imgur.com/tCTN35V.png / http://i.imgur.com/XtQHTMY.png – average 2009 wage vs “IQ” PPP / Exchange Rate

    http://i.imgur.com/VezoXsR.png – 2014 median disposable household income vs PISA09

    http://i.imgur.com/DJgORDf.png – 2014 median household wealth vs PISA09

    The shapes are similar – low correlations between the variables among the OECDs, some differences worthy of note.

  59. says:
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    Another problem may be difference between Sephardi Tehorim (Spanish then later Dutch/Ottoman Sephardi) and the recent more ”Mizrahi Sephardi”.

    There’s a lot of confusion about these terms. There are the Dutch and Ottoman Sephardi but there are also Sephardic groups that settled in the Arab countries. A Jew from Morocco for example might be a Sephardic Jew or a Berber Jew. Algerian Jews are also predominantly Sephardic but the Tunisian and Libyan Jews are not.

    However, I would think it’s difficult to measure the average IQ of various Jewish groups from Arab countries, since those communities don’t really exist any more, with their best and brightest settling and doing well in France, Canada and the US, and those with less opportunities going to Israel. The average IQ of these groups’ descendants in Israel wouldn’t accurately reflect the average IQ those groups had back in their Arab host countries.

    Iraqi Jews seem to do well in Israel compared to other Israeli groups from Arab countries and it seems likely to me that the reason is that their community was not fractured in the dramatic way the other communities were and more of their brightest ended up in Israel. The Iraqi Jews are Mizrahi and not of Sephardic origin, btw.

  60. Its civilisational advantage hypothesis don’t work to China during european middle age??

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  61. “The 112 IQ study for Indian IQ, I dont know the caste composition”

    You don’t need to know their cast composition really.

    Are these 112 IQ Indians NE Asians(105)? or Europeans(100)?

    Clearly they are not, so it is impossible for them to have avg IQ as high as 112, unless for 1 out of the following 3 reasons:

    1. it is a widely recognised theory that the direct offsrpings of people of mid 70s IQ (“low casts” in India) and people of mid 80s IQ (“high casts” in India) usually lead to > 110 IQ level on average, or

    2. it is due to very selective immigration (i.e. it is reasonable to suggest that avg IQ of H1B1 Indians in US is about 2 SD above Indians avg IQ in India), or

    3. their “casts” are extraterrestrial beings originated in another planet.

    You choose.

    BTW, on 2: H1B1 Indians in the US having avg IQ of about only 112 is a kinda of proof that Indians in India does have low 80s avg IQ. Why? because if Indians in India had avg IQ of close to 100,for instance, then the avg IQ of highly selective Indians in the US would have avg IQ of about 130, with avg of 112 being way too low.

  62. Its civilisational advantage hypothesis don’t work to China during european middle age??

    Of course it worked , the other way around though. The Civilisational Advantage at a time was in China’s favour.

    The reason why it didn’t appear as apparent as it is today in Anglo-Saxon world was the fact the world back then was not globalised, with China and Europe having little direct contact with each other.

  63. How Sephardic are they?

    I think 1 or 2 of them were half Ashkenazi.

    I’d say probably Jewish population during Industrial Rev was very small / not very integrated to rest / were usually in finance / there were lots of oppression. I certainly don’t think Jews are only good at theory, John Von Neumann single handedly created sizeable portion of modern civilization.

    andalay

    Your post contains a lot of false information but yes i also think it’s a giant leap forward for the mankind.

    You are probably right and Iraqi Jews seem really successful (Sassoon, Kadoorie families)

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  64. Von Neumann was a mathematical physicist. He dealt with theory.

  65. / were usually in finance / there were lots of oppression.

    These excuses are self-contradictory. If Jews were allowed to become big-time bankers, then surely they would have been allowed to become inventors.

  66. there doesn’t seem to be a European pop with avg iq higher than 100 maybe except Huguenots. (assimilated today)

    I wonder if anyone has ever measured the mean IQ of the European aristocracies. The British upper classes seem to have assimilated less than the others. I’m sure GSS wordsum data can be broken down by Christian denomination. Episcopalians would surely score above 100.

  67. Would be delighted to know which I said in the post are false info.

    Care to share how this “giant leap forward for the mankind” came into being all of a sudden? Climate Warming or The New Ice Age perhaps?

  68. Would be delighted to know how exactly “a lot of” what I said in that post “are false info”.

    Care to share how this “giant leap forward for the mankind” came into being all of a sudden? Climate Warming or The New Ice Age perhaps?

    And what is the secret that this “giant leap forward” only appear to occure to South Indians in the US? Why didn’t it make E Asian IQ into 140 , or Africans into IQ 95, or Europeans into 130, at the same time? Just curious.

  69. Fascinating thread. Worth reading multiple times and mentally chewing on for some time to come. You said it, IQ and it’s variation explains a lot about our world. I hope that in the future people that see this are not pigeon holed as being simply HBDers.

  70. says:
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    I’m hardly an expert on the topic, but I feel the persistent issue of “brain drain” is not given adequate consideration in the article.

    It could very well explain part of the apparent advantage the US has over other nations.

  71. Because East Asian usually don’t have Jesus in their heart? …. nah (I am currently Agnostic), if the prosperity theology were a factor here, S.Koreans would rank better as they are quite more Christian than other East Asians.

  72. Also in Japan it’s common for workers to stay at the same firm for their career instead of changing companies more often as you see in the U.S. for example.

    You see things like this in the U.S., back when the immigrant fraction of the workforce was low, as it is in Japan today…

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  73. This entire post is riddled with false assumptions, metrics and analysis.

    1) GDP isnt success. It includes prison economy, obesity economy, depression & narcotic economy, whore economy, bloated legal paperwork economy, hedge fund economy.

    2) policies weigh more than IQ. Even in a low median IQ country there must be some high IQ people. If these high IQ people design, implement good policies, IQ loses its predictive and causal power.

    3) north Korea vs south Korea: high mean IQ is worthless with bad policies. Same people, same genetics, same language, same heritage. But huge differences in outcomes.

    4) cheap land: borrowing costs, access to capital and kmow-how, regulations and policies, and implementation speed weighs perhaps as much or more than cheap land.

    5) geography: california with 12% US pop. is earth quake prone. And Katrina? Japan’s geography has advantages. Natural barrier to mass immigration, secluded location in one corner of the world (do your own thing), surrounded by competent, genetically similar neighbors.

    6) financial windfall: vague term. What do you mean? Stock market? Bond market? Currency trading market? Tax free safe haven? Insurance market? Real estate trust market?

    This post is as bad as CNN & fox. I thought Unz.com would be different.

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  74. Bad Nobel chart. Literature, peace, economics, are worthless in these measurements, highly politicized.

    Measure only sciences.

  75. Regarding East Asia, Anatoly and most other commenters completely ignore that productivity in manufacturing is VERY high in East Asia — much higher than its GDP/capita would suggest. Japan basically converged with the United States in manufacturing productivity around 1990. Almost all of the difference in the economy-wide labour productivity between the United States and Japan is therefore due to differences in non-manufacturing, mostly services.

    Absolutely. The manufacturing efficiency in places like Japan and South Korea is astounding. They are quite innovative and maintain extremely low error rates.

    And don’t forget that the agriculture sectors in Japan and South Korea remain politically very sensitive and important, and are thus highly protected by both tariffs and non-tariff barriers. Because of these political reasons, their agricultural sectors are incredibly inefficient compared to the capital-intensive agribusinesses in the United States, for example.

    This, again, points to voluntarily chosen policy differences as a major determinant of the gap in GDP/capita between Japan and the United States. Japan strongly regulates its service sector in ways which preserve small scales and multiple layers of distribution. The Japanese have had many opportunities to deregulate in this area, but have declined. People want it kept that way.

    The Toyota luxury brand in the United States, Lexus, was an attempt to introduce the basic yet exceptional Toyota customer service in Japan to a select segment of the automobile buyers in the United States.

    In both Japan and South Korea, the level of personal aftermarket service for even inexpensive manufactured goods is incredible compared to the buy-and-throwaway culture that Americans have. East Asian service sectors are financially very inefficient by American and even Western European standards, but for cultural reasons seem to have retained “small scales and multiple layers of distribution.” If your LED TV or Blu-ray breaks in the U.S., you pretty much throw it away and buy another one (unless it broke shortly after purchase), but in East Asia, the manufacturer will often send out a repair man to fix it free or charge a very nominal cost. It’s just culturally impossible to have nonexistent service (in order to have cutthroat prices) and survive as a business in these countries. Clearly they prefer a price-inefficient, but qualitatively-better service. That may lower their PPP GDP per capita and such, but probably makes life easier and less aggravating.

    By the way, another thing to keep in mind about some of these metrics is to look at beyond the snapshot picture and examine the changing patterns over, say, 20-30 years. I am sure Mr. Karlin is aware of these number: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Economy/Patents-granted

    They are from 1998. I would almost guarantee that South Korea was not number 2 twenty to thirty years prior to that time. Remember that there is considerable lag between human (and economic) development and mass affluence.

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  76. Nice comments on Japan.

    By the way, another thing to keep in mind about some of these metrics is to look at beyond the snapshot picture and examine the changing patterns over, say, 20-30 years.

    Yes, excessive inference from cross-sections is a bad habit in these precincts. That was a point I also tried to make about Argentina and Chile. People keep saying they have approximately the same GDP/capita, even though that was clearly not true for most of this century.

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  77. I wouldn’t blame immigration for all of that (though obviously it depresses wages). There have been other changes in the economy, among them greater competition.

  78. National IQs were derived from the average of the Math, Science, and Reading component in PISA 2009.

    Your numbers don’t tally with Lynn’s:

    http://www.ttu.ee/public/m/mart-murdvee/EconPsy/2/Lynn_Meisenberg_2010_National_IQs_calculated_and_validated_for_108_nations.pdf

    For example: you got Australia at 102.9, Canada at 104.1, Ireland at 99.6, Finland at 106.6, Greece at 96.0…….. while Lynn measures them at 98, 99, 92, 99, 92 respectively. Big difference.

    You are over-estimating european IQs for some reason. Lynn has got East Asia more than half a SD ahead of Europe.

  79. Could it be relevant that the USA (together with Canada) basically stole an entire continent from its previous inhabitants, virtually exterminated them, and thus had a whole continent’s worth of untouched virgin mineral, forestry, fishery and agricultural resources at its disposal? While all these resources exist worldwide, the low-hanging fruit has mostly been gathered wherever large populations have lived for thousands of years. On top of the successful resource theft, the USA was disproportionately colonized by “go-getters” – people who were tough, unscrupulous, determined and practical. Last but not least, the USA has been characterized since its foundation by the world’s most money-centric culture. In the USA, your worth as a person is directly proportional to your financial net worth. That means gangsters, extortionists and banksters get more respect than teachers, scientists, doctors and nurses (except for the tiny subset of scientists and doctors who also happen to be extortionists – “he became a doctor specializing in diseases of the rich” – Tom Lehrer).

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  80. If a tiny difference in average IQ makes such a big difference in prosperity, why are members of Mensa (who have IQs over 130 by definition) if anything less prosperous than average people? Obviously because high intelligence tends to open your eyes to the many interesting things in life other than money.

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  81. The correlation between IQ and income at the individual/personal level is substantially lower than the correlation between IQ and income at the country level. There is some kind of multiplicative effect, which suggests that a large part of the impact of IQ on national productivity is not just via individual worker quality, but via people’s impact on institutions, policies, etc.

  82. Value added as by agriculture, fishing, forestry, fossil fuels, and mining is …. less than 4% of GDP in the United States. This cannot be an important determinant of the USA’s unusually high GDP/capita.

    http://www.bea.gov/industry/gdpbyind_data.htm

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  83. @ pseudoerasmus
    but the share of agriculture, mining, etc. was much bigger some time ago, and this enabled the USA to build up a huge stock of capital which nowadays is invested in production and services

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  84. Nice post. A few quibbles. GDP is income, not wealth. They go hand in hand, but you’re not showing wealth statistics. Some countries have high wealth (Sweden, Denmark) but fairly low income, at least compared with America or Switzerland. Wealth is a stock, valuable things like land and oil and art, income is a flow, cash money. The outliers you speak of are selling their wealth to boost their income.

    Also, R^2 is not the same as a correlation coefficient. In a simple linear model with one regressor, R^2 is the squared correlation coefficient. So your 0.84 figure is a bit unclear to me, is it the R^2? or is it the correlation coefficient? If it is the R^2 then this is a tight association indeed. It doesn’t matter much, point taken, but it is good to be careful with language.

  85. My observation as an engineering manager is that you needed an IQ of above 120 before you were productive. (OK, there are a few exceptions, but not that many.) Thus it is not the average IQ that matters but the number of people in the upper reaches of the spectrum.

  86. If these high IQ people design, implement good policies, IQ loses its predictive and causal power.

    Not really, the projects today are too big for just a few people to do all the heavy lifting. It took Airbus the combined resources of 4 countries to make something competitive with one company who essentially owned the business. I doubt some African country with a few guys who went to Cambridge and got a degree in aeronautical engineering could take their degree back home and do the same.

    Even the jobs for the guys on the shop floor require some level of skill and intelligence due to their complexity.

    People who argue against average IQ always try to make it about some hidden force holding all these people in the third world down in some way. Yeah, that might have been true 200 years ago before information was widely available. However, nothing is stopping Kenya from developing viable industries. Pakistan was willing to do whatever it took to build a nuclear weapon yet the rest of the country is very backward.

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  87. Chile has fewer % Jews than Argentina. And that may have something to do with perpetual currency crisis in Argentina, and the solution to GDP riddle.

    Also, number of patents may not correlate well with quality of patents or their industrial impact.

    In all these years working in high tech, my overall impression has been that japanese are refined, aristocratic, understated, whereas Koreans tend to be pompous, conceited, and very often overestimate their abilities. Chinese tend to be malicious and not quite trustworthy.

    Informal chats with many colleagues & friends confirmed these assessments.

    Of all the nobels in sciences, japanese have won 19, yet not a single Korean, and only 8 Chinese.

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  88. Have you ever been to Japan? Clearly your statistics are missing much. What’s the value of safe and secure public spaces? There is no street crime in Japan. Streets, under ground malls, subways, etc. are safe to be and conduct commerce. That’s got to be worth many points on your scale of economic performance.

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  89. I didn’t say anything about patents.

    And that may have something to do with perpetual currency crisis in Argentina, and the solution to GDP riddle.

    Chile also used to have a lot of financial crises — including 2 big ones under Pinochet.

    There’s no GDP riddle regarding Chile and Argentina.

  90. If you read carefully, I do not argue against average IQ differences.

    Its that in the overarching equation, IQ might not be a major factor.

    As for Airbus, Germans are the prime movers, and Francé etc offer a European veneer and collaborative posture. Due to historic tragedies.

    Also, one need not conflate high-tech with material success. New zealand sells butter around the world. Does it require a 105 average IQ?

    With good policies, primary and tertiary sectors, and low tech manufacturing can thrive even in modest IQ populations, generating high GDP.

    Ex: Barbados is 95% black. Due to reasonably satisfactory policies, it has fairly high human development index.

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  91. Capital accumulation faces diminishing returns. So you need improvement in total factor productivity, which merely having a lot of capital does not give you. As it happens, the US convergence with Great Britain circa 1900 in per capita income was driven by productivity growth in the nontradeable sector — mainly transportation, communications, and utilities. In manufacturing productivity, the United States was already far ahead of Great Britain in the 1860s.

  92. If you read carefully, I do not argue against average IQ differences.

    Its that in the overarching equation, IQ might not be a major factor.

    As for Airbus, Germans are the prime movers, and Francé etc offer a European veneer and collaborative posture. Due to historic tragedies.

    Also, one need not conflate high-tech with material success. New zealand sells butter around the world. Does it require a 105 average IQ?

    With good policies, primary and tertiary sectors, and low tech manufacturing can thrive even in modest IQ populations, generating high GDP.

    Ex: Barbados is 95% black. Due to reasonably satisfactory policies, it has fairly high human development index.

  93. Ex: Barbados…. Due to reasonably satisfactory policies, it has fairly high human development index.

    The Barbados depend on a fixed resource: sea/beaches. It’s as dependent on tourism as Saudi Arabia is on oil.

    Of course that’s still better than many countries who squander their resource windfall.

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  94. History explains a lot. If you use the year that industrialization started in earnest by some uniform benchmark, that is going to explain a very large share of the variability, certain from U.K. to Europe to East Asia.

    If you want an answer to American exceptionalism, one easy answer may be that we paid a much lower price in property damage and casualties in World War II.

    Another key factor for American exceptionalism may be the longer lasting impacts of the fit immigrant hypothesis. Able people migrate. Less able people stay home. We are a nation of relatively recent immigrants. None of our peers are in the same boat.

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  95. History explains a lot. If you use the year that industrialization started in earnest by some uniform benchmark, that is going to explain a very large share of the variability, certain from U.K. to Europe to East Asia. If you want an answer to American exceptionalism, one easy answer may be that we paid a much lower price in property damage and casualties in World War II

    But that factor is already captured in growth rates.

    So you’re just reframing the question: why didn’t European and Japanese capital stock eventually converge with the US level of capital stock ? European and Japanese rates of capital accumulation in 1945-70 were much higher than the US rates precisely because they were converging. Why did convergence stop where it stopped ?

    That’s functionally the same question as, why does the USA have such a high GDP/capita relative to other rich countries ?

  96. America’s past productive advantage had to do with its culture – we had an amazing “can do” optimistic attitude towards life. Except for the rejection of black people by white people, we could work together to accomplish something. Our homogeneous Christian culture exuded hope. It allowed us to work together even though we were of different European tribes. A high percentage of every strata of culture could be productive.

    Today we Americans wake up more productive then other countries because of our past, not because of what we are doing today.

    America’s optimistic advantage is currently waning because of the divisive politics of its power seeking wealthy Jewish citizens. Sadly, today we have been pushed into seeing each other in an ethnic sense, not as homogeneous Christians.

  97. God, what a post! What I wouldn’t have given for this kind of analysis when I was studying Economic History in the late 60s.
    While I need to consider more in depth the various factors discussed, off the top of my head, I would probably assign greater weight to Anatoly’s loosely defined “Hedonics/Fiddling” category in explaining American Exceptionalism.
    Comparing rates of mothers participating in the work force would likely reveal that Americans disproportionately monetize child care, meal prep, simple healthcare, entertainment and lots of other things that don’t go into GDP in more traditional societies.
    Another comparison along these lines would be the level of per capita advertising spending; conspicuous consumption is a more important signal of status in a large culturally diverse anomic economy compared to relative monocultures. Or tax expenditures encouraging home ownership: consider how the greater importance home ownership in the US (relative to even other Anglo-sphere nations) inflates GDP as well as acting as a driver of female workforce participation.

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  98. Good grief, post hoc argument from ideology. Look, there are way too many unknowns to make what is basically a biological argument.

    The claim is that a brain processes, IQ/processing speed, causes behavioral differences in….what? Making money or any other economic indicator.

    The “best and brightest” professional scientists can’t make definitive statements on any ONE issue this post covers. This is truly gobbly-gook.

    Gee, is there a single peer-reviewed citation to anything in this windbaggage? Let’s exclude anything in economics – since nothing in economics, along with the humanities, philosophy and religion, is evidence-based.

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  99. Some analysis of Israel’s PISA results from
    http://cms.education.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/B9434C77-C102-4D41-BD9B-B8074AFF19BE/192610/PISA_2012_Report_ed1.pdf (hebrew)

    In all 3 scores, Hebrew-speaking students are on par with the first world – same as Norway in math, same as Holland in reading, same as Italy in science. Arab-speaking students have the same scores as Jordan and Tunis. So the mean score of Israel doesn’t make much sense as Arabs are 23% of the PISA sample. I guess the same gap exists in other countries.
    Also Israel’s GDP is somewhere between 32k and 36k, so Israel need to be moved on the graph close to France …

  100. Great article; just a note that “prodigal” most likely should be “prodigious.”

  101. The culture of “saving face” in Eastern Asia acts as the equivalent of central planning. It prevents feedback by subordinates to superiors in the chain of command. Therefore, production or service problems cannot be corrected as quickly as in a more “egalitarian” culture. I can attest to this from personal experience. Difficult to quantify no doubt but it exists. The Japanese were smart enough to import western management methods (NYT, Dec. 21, 1993):

    “W. Edwards Deming, an expert on business management who advised Japan on how to rebuild its shattered industries after World War II and urged American corporations to treat their workers as associates rather than adversaries, died early yesterday at his home in Washington. He was 93.”

  102. says:
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    Great article, two quick comments:

    1. Regarding the unexpected lagging of GDP in Canada and Norway, please consider that they are snowbound, with many of their ports iced in, for up to half the year. That should have an effect on GDP, don’t you think?

    2. Regarding US healthcare results (bang for the buck), it has long been known (but never mentioned out loud) that the US jumps way up the chart if you exclude NAMs from the results. Is this IQ or culture or something else? I don’t know, but it’s not nothing.

    Keep up the good work.

  103. The Olympus mega-scandal in Japan was a small window into the extreme corruption of Japan’s secrecy-obsessed corporatocracy.

    One can well make the argument that the most successful criminal behavior will be a reward that the most intelligent reap to the detriment of everyone else. There can be enormous accumulation of wealth which is unequally distributed in the extreme, and accumulated by activities which are only in the interests of a few, which analysis by reduction to total “raw” wealth obscures.

  104. Comparing rates of mothers participating in the work force would likely reveal that Americans disproportionately monetize child care, meal prep, simple healthcare, entertainment and lots of other things that don’t go into GDP in more traditional societies.

    Excellent point – single working mothers do zero long-term good for society – period!

    It is good for government – it turns over money bringing in more tax dollars – but it is ZERO good for the long-term interests of their children and the future of the culture. These children become unproductive – end of story.

  105. Twinkie: If your LED TV or Blu-ray breaks in the U.S., you pretty much throw it away and buy another one (unless it broke shortly after purchase), but in East Asia, the manufacturer will often send out a repair man to fix it free or charge a very nominal cost. It’s just culturally impossible to have nonexistent service (in order to have cutthroat prices) and survive as a business in these countries. Clearly they prefer a price-inefficient, but qualitatively-better service. That may lower their PPP GDP per capita and such, but probably makes life easier and less aggravating.

    Land areas and incomes are low, so less municipal waste? If it’s difficult and expensive for customers to junk stuff, they’ll want higher repair rates.

    I hear about Japanese service that it is good, but is very, very (irritatingly) inflexible. It’s all very proper, at the same time they can’t handle deviations from procedure very well. Certain ways of services might make more sense in a tighter society (if the customer and the server are resolutely proper, formal and rigid in their dealings, the customer might get a better outcome… or they may not).

    I’m not sure if the Japs (or other East Asians) find life very easy or less aggravating on the whole. They’re not exactly very high up on those happiness scales. Although maybe they need quality high customer services to take away the irritation or they’d be *really* moody.

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  106. Tourism is the ideal resource for countries whose population would otherwise behave worse than the world average. It encourages the population to conduct themselves in ways which do not frighten away visitors. Bermuda and the Bahamas are two examples. That cynical thought aside, some African majority countries are very well behaved. Ghana is said to have a very mild population. Pleasant surroundings produce pleasant people… as in the Rat Park experiment: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park

  107. According to economists that is meaningless because the fools have no way to measure it. That is why the constant calls by economists for immigration to “save” Japan. To an economist a society full of people who hate each other and who are constantly looking to get over on one another is good as long as the GDP goes up each year.

    This is why economics is a worthless pseudo-science.

  108. Value-added comments only please, Elmer.

    “The claim is that a brain processes, IQ/processing speed, causes behavioral differences in….what? Making money or any other economic indicator.”

    This is too complicated for you?

  109. American innovation benefited from immigrants. Other countries have not had immigration of this order. However, now even with this boost it is flagging in various. Start up rate is falling, If America didn’t attract immigrate I would say rate would be far lower! And now who in future wants to come to nation of mostly poor old and young people?

    There is a reason why economy needs “financial engineering”! It has become an aged economy very quickly!

    http://www.sprottmoney.com/news/why-u-s-economic-statistics-get-more-and-more-absurd-jeff-nielson-sprott-money-news?mw_aref=7b5b8659dfa071b4c7d0a95a56259dec

    Why U.S. Economic ‘Statistics’ Get More and More Absurd

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-10/the-u-s-middle-class-poorer-than-you-think

    The Middle Class Is Worse Off Than You Think

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-09/why-your-wages-could-be-depressed-for-a-lot-longer-than-you-think

    Why Your Wages Could Be Depressed for a Lot Longer Than You Think

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  110. Reality is exact opposite to what you wrote.
    Until 1920, america was not known as innovation hub.

    Notable exceptions include Edison.

    After stop to immigration, from 1920s-1960s American innovation soared. Man on moon. Arpanet, semiconductors. 1969.

    Asian immigration was deadly. Espionage, balkanization, corruption.

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  111. Americans are much richer than they “should” be, whereas East Asians are much poorer. But curiously, the Anglo offshoots are closer to East Asia here than they are to European-stock populations, so it is not at all obvious that it is an HBD issue.

    What is curious is your complete disregard of the exorbitant privilege of printing the world’s reserve currency that America has enjoyed since WWII. Neither you nor any of the commenters, with the exception of Panda, recognizes this as a valid explanation for why Americans are much richer than they “should” be.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exorbitant_privilege

    The term exorbitant privilege refers to the alleged benefit the United States has due to its own currency (i.e., the US dollar) being the international reserve currency.

    the Bretton Woods system put in place in 1944…… resulted in an “asymmetric financial system” where foreigners “see themselves supporting American living standards and subsidizing American multinationals”. As American economist Barry Eichengreen summarized:”It costs only a few cents for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a $100 bill, but other countries had to pony up $100 of actual goods in order to obtain one”.

    Take away this privilege and the US GDP will shrink dramatically. The biggest move in this direction so far, the biggest threat to dollar hegemony, is the establishment by China this year of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/03/asian-infrastructure-investment-bank-150329074949552.html

    China’s foreign minister, along with his Russian and Indian counterparts, was emphasizing a vision that many in the West have long feared – a vision of a new world order….The relevant comment was short, and buried within 30 other paragraphs of much more conciliatory language; nonetheless it was punchy: “Russia, India and China are determined to build a more just, fair and stable international political and economic order.”

    we should now analyse the recent mayhem surrounding the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). And mayhem it has been, at least in political terms. From the moment that Britain, on March 12, decided that it wanted to be part of the China-led AIIB, a raft of Washington’s traditional allies have followed suit, turning eastwards with unseemly haste.

    France, Italy and Germany jumped aboard the betrayal bandwagon almost immediately after the UK, then Luxembourg, New Zealand and South Korea. Now that Australia’s cabinet has agreed, despite the prime minister’s protestations, to join up too, the only significant ally sticking by Washington is Japan, and even it is wavering.

    So what’s behind this mass-defection from the Washington consensus, and what will the consequences be for the international financial order? The answer to the first part is straightforward – money. Asia needs $800 billion a year in investment to develop its infrastructure, and numerous countries are keen to help them get it.
    But, as everyone from the European Commission’s vice president to the US treasury secretary have admitted, Washington has been standing in the way of business for years.
    US credibility and leadership in the multilateral system, said Jack Lew, has been lacking, and that’s allowed Beijing to seize the initiative and offer a viable solution.

    Many financial analysts are speculating that the new bank may well prove to be genuinely transformative, its adoption an irreversible step towards the multi-polar world envisioned in Beijing. Because the fact is this bank is not just a standalone initiative, an independent body among many others, it’s a core component of a much broader template, a long-term plan that China began putting in place some time ago. Already, some of the more than $3 trillion Beijing holds in foreign reserves has been deployed in international markets; its economic reach now spreads beyond Asia to the Middle East, Africa and as far away as Latin America.

    The existing global financial architecture, devised 50 years ago when no alternatives existed and all were happy to concede leadership (and benefits) to Washington, is no longer fit for purpose.
    Not only are its institutions – the World Bank, the IMF, the ADB et al – thoroughly dominated by the US (helped, in the case of the Asian Development Bank, by Japan), they impose a coercive and ideologically driven agenda on developing countries that can do more harm than good. Not to mention the fact they simply don’t have the capacity to handle emerging Asia’s development needs. What Washington has chosen to ignore, in fear of losing political power, is that a change to global financial structures is a very necessary evolution.

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  112. says:
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    Asian countries have a hierarchical social structure.
    A young Asian who has a better idea than his mentor will probably keep mum about it out of respect.
    A high status Japanese man will guess at important information rather than admit that he doesn’t know.
    These traditions are apt to have a strong negative effect on GDP/capita, even though the people are very smart and hard-working.

  113. I’m not sure if the Japs (or other East Asians) find life very easy or less aggravating on the whole. They’re not exactly very high up on those happiness scales. Although maybe they need quality high customer services to take away the irritation or they’d be *really* moody.

    East Asians (and I am talking mostly about the Japanese and the South Koreans here) are unhappy because they live in highly dense environments with a lot of academic and professional competition (and even shopping can be competitive). So life is very stressful for them. Being crowded usually is. They also have depressing weather (much like Nordics) with lots of disasters like typhoons from the Pacific, snow storms from the Manchurian plains, floods, earthquakes, etc.

    However, they have far more intact family structures and support, much lower crime rates, and, yes, customer service that is quite good. And as with, again, Scandinavians, their governments are ubiquitous in a good way. You can go to the local district/neighborhood offices of the central or municipal government and can get actual service by actual human beings with actual intelligence. They might even smile and bow at you as they politely (if “inflexibly” as you say) address your concerns. Compare that to the experience an average American has at the DMV let alone the IRS (tax time, y’all!).

    As Derbyshire says sometimes, the DMV lady is real in America. And the petty Beamter in Central Europe isn’t exactly customer service-oriented either.

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  114. Jayman, were we talking about central planning, which surely had an impact, or other institutions? Decisions to shoot the intelligentsia, of implementing collectivisation and so on were results of the lost war. This seems to me so obvious that I don’t know how you can argue otherwise: countries with communist legacy still lag behind what you could expect from their average IQ, for example; usually, they (we) gained a lot in terms of GDP per capita; it seems obvious that the legacy of communism plays some role here, as it was equivalent of 50-years lasting natural disaster. I am not saying _eventually_ we will reach levels of Sweden or Germany; merely that right now, we have still not reached our full capacity and the reasons of that is 50 years of communism.

  115. Before WWII, Poland was comparable or more wealthy than Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece. Now it is poorer. How you can possibly say that you can account for this by HBD _alone_ and that 50 years of wasting resources, promoting wrong people to the wrong places and creating cliques could have no lasting effect? HBD Chick uses membership in civic associations as one measure of social trust; before WWII it seems that such membership in Poland was higher than now; and that membership in civic association is on the rise in Poland.

    As the Anatolyi answered already, it does not mean that Poland (or Russia) will eventually reach levels of Germany; merely, does _currently_ Poland and other Central and Easter European countries lag behind what is their true potential.

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  116. Twinkie: East Asians (and I am talking mostly about the Japanese and the South Koreans here) are unhappy because they live in highly dense environments with a lot of academic and professional competition (and even shopping can be competitive).

    Sounds pretty much like it makes sense to me – East Asians stress themselves out with all this intragroup competition and intragroup hostility that doesn’t necessarily achieve anything more than a positional good, so can’t cope with having another layer of stress from services, so pay out for ultimately inefficient (but comforting) services.

    Urban population density is an interesting one as well because it tends to raise the GDP per capita within country, so that might be an measure it is worth adjusting GDP per cap or personal wealth against, see if the East Asians are poorer or less than people in equivalently dense areas in the West (I’d expect they would at middling GDP per cap and highly dense living).

    However, they have far more intact family structures and support, much lower crime rates, and, yes, customer service that is quite good. And as with, again, Scandinavians, their governments are ubiquitous in a good way.

    Murder rates are pretty low in Japan, still pretty high in South Korea, for a crime indicator (https://www.quandl.com/c/society/oecd-murder-rates – OECD’s data, which I would give the benefit of the doubt over Wikipedia, a little higher in SK than most of the West, Japan tied with the UK for the lowest homicide rate of any reasonably large country).

    Re: family structures, yeah, you’ve got that figure where the Japanese have 2% of births outside marriage, closer to the 8% of Italians that do than the 50% of Nordics (Sweden / Denmark, who seem to respond very happy despite the weather).

    At the same time, Japanese marriage rates are pretty middling compared to most Western countries, and divorce rates are also pretty similar to Catholic Southern Europe. Even if their marriage and divorce is not very different, they’re still committed to that idea that you marry before you have kids (not after, as the Nords often do).

    I don’t know much about the quality of how much support people get from brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and the like. I like Japan a lot, but I tend to think of the people as atomised and lonely living in urban areas without much community, worried about burdening others with their problems, turning to odd obsessions, so I wonder if that’s wrong and actually they’re vigorously social and well supported with their families and friends.

    It’d be interesting to see what international perceptions of efficiency of government, and citizen satisfaction, are in Japan, whether they’re high or low compared to other countries. Can’t find any international comparisons.

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  117. I don’t think JayMan knows what Communism is.

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  118. Shaikorth [AKA "Grelsson"]
    says:
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    Exactly. Finland’s overall situation (economy included) in early 1900′s was much more comparable to the Baltic countries than to Sweden or Denmark, never mind the US or UK, having just separated from Russia with an earlier history as contested periperal territory. Only later events allowed Finland to take off in a way its neighbours to the south could not, or perhaps more accurately stifled the southern neighbours in a way Finland was not.

    In fact if you look at Karlin’s first graph, you can draw two parallel clines; traditional Western and Southern Europe falls along one from Malta to Netherlands, and all of Eastern Europe is along one extending from Serbia or Ukraine to Finland. Groups along the latter cline have larger gaps between each other, and plausible explanations for that can easily be found in recent history.

  119. He knows. I’ve already discussed with him (and with HBD Chick) some three years ago about this subject, and I was (stupid me!) sure he accepted some arguments of mine.

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  120. http://pseudoerasmus.com/2014/04/13/anonimo/comment-page-1/#comment-25268 and the following

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  121. Beamter – think Stempel, Stempel, Stempel (“rubber stamp”).

    Visualize a sweaty, officious little man twirling his rubber stamp carousel absent-mindedly while awaiting the next victim, er, citizen. Then add a pinch of imperious based on local flavoring, and a dash of punctiliosity to season to taste.

  122. For the same IQ or education, do black American have higher income than white or asian?

    If so, then personality explains the difference.

    When I interviewed house-cleaning service, African Americcan contractors demand much higher pay than hispanic contractors for the same kind of service.

    Income is result of supply/demand. When you demand more for the same product, you might get it. Income/wealth is product of many factors including IQ, personality, self-worthness, market ect. Intelligence can not explain every thing.

  123. Why relying on patent output as a marker for productivity is a bad idea

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/04/14/the-u-s-patent-and-trademark-office-doesnt-know-if-patent-examiners-are-doing-their-jobs-watchdog-says

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  124. says:
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    The economic rent of land and natural resources is not counted by value added.because it’s captured by financialization. The economic rent goes to real estate and financial returns. Farming, mining, and energy extraction enterprises are heavily financed, and financial profits are a huge percentage of US domestic profits, something like 30%.

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  125. Why relying on patent output as a marker for productivity is a bad idea

    It’s not so much a marker of productivity as much as a measure of the desire of a given population to come up with new things. As long as the said people are reasonably intelligent, people who seek to invent new things tend to do so sooner or later.

    And I also brought up patents per capita to illustrate the inadequacy of looking at a single time frame.

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  126. Murder rates are pretty low in Japan, still pretty high in South Korea, for a crime indicator (https://www.quandl.com/c/society/oecd-murder-rates – OECD’s data, which I would give the benefit of the doubt over Wikipedia, a little higher in SK than most of the West, Japan tied with the UK for the lowest homicide rate of any reasonably large country).

    That page doesn’t give the years. Here is what the actual OECD website says: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/safety/

    It ranks Japan at the top and ranks South Korea higher (6th) than most rich European countries in terms of safety (murder + assault rates).

    Looking at the homicide rate under “Indicators,” Japan does excellently and South Korea fares pretty well and keeps company with much wealthier (smaller) European countries.

    Murder rates in South Korea are not “pretty high” by any stretch of imagination. It is by most measures one of the safest countries in the world in terms of crime rates. It has lower murder rate than do countries such as Iceland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Canada.

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  127. @ Twinkie

    If you look at the homicide stats alone

    “According to the latest OECD data, Korea’s homicide rate is 1.1… In Korea, the homicide rate is the nearly the same for men and for women, at respectively 1.3 and 0.9.”
    Homicide rates are a little higher than Australia (0.6), Austria (0.5), Czech Republic (0.8), Denmark (0.8), France (0.8), Germany (0.5), Ireland (0.8), Italy (0.7),Netherlands (0.9), Poland (1.0), Portugal (0.9), Slovenia (0.9), Spain (0.7), Sweden (1.0), Switzerland (0.5). These are all rates per 100,000.

    So not exactly pretty high, you’re right. Mainly a little higher than the Western and Central European average, based on larger countries mainly. Homicide gets higher east of east Poland, where Central Europe ends, with a few small country exceptions. But it’s hardly a great deal of difference.

    I don’t think homicide rates tend to fall with wealth among OECD countries, more that there’s no relationship. The safety index doesn’t seem to have much relationship with GDPpC or average wage either.

    Korea might do a little better if it had the same age structure as other countries though, as homicide rates fall with age.

    Korea’s position as 6th on that table seems is due to its low rates of physical assault, comparable to low assasult rate countries like Britain, Ireland and Poland and higher than higher assault rate Western Europeans like Sweden and Italy. I wouldn’t have expected Swedes and Italians to be more bar room brawlers of Europe compared to the 3 I mentioned, but it seems there are. Looks like Koreans today aren’t ones to get in a street fight (and the endemic beatings and slaps to the head inflicted on lessers by highers in Korean movies is a false impression, as is how some Korean talk themselves up as rednecks with fiery personalities).

    Not saying Korea is “high crime” or anything – it’s not. “Pretty high” was, I guess, a loose lipped comment based on my impression of Korea’s rate compared to the large Western European states.

    This is just interesting context for those discussions about how East Asian societies are, compared to Western and Central European ones, oh so safe and oh so low crime, so let’s forgive them anything else.

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  128. Thanks! I haven’t read about Habsburg effect before, and it is nice argument against putting every difference between the countries down to the genetic differences only.

    Note I do not claim institutional differences won’t create, in the long term, genetic differences or that genetic differences do not matter. I merely claim that institution and history matter too.

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  129. In the comment right after I had an example of an institutional impact applied specifically to communism.

  130. The economic rent of land and natural resources is not counted by value added.because it’s captured by financialization.

    Financialization can be done anywhere. Hong Kong has no land or natural resources, and yet its economy is heavily reliant on finance.

    Similarly, you can have a bounty of agricultural land and natural resources, and little in the way of a financial sector.

    Farming, mining, and energy extraction enterprises are heavily financed, and financial profits are a huge percentage of US domestic profits, something like 30%.

    But this is a recent phenomenon. It has nothing to do with the U.S. acquisition of land and natural resources. The U.S. financial sector in the fifties was marginal compared to today, and yet the U.S. at that time had been a capitalist society for generations with most of the same land and natural resources that it has now.

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  131. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    I don’t think you understood my comment.

    Value added is output price minus production cost. It doesn’t give a complete picture of the economic value of farming, mining, energy extraction (or any other form of economic activity) in a financialized economy because rent and interest are part of the production cost while deriving their value from the agricultural or mining yield

    A farmer or miner who leases land from a landowner or borrows money from a bank to buy the land to operate his farm or mine pays rent or interest as a part of his production cost. How much rent or interest the landlord or banker charge is based on the value of the farm or mine, which is based on the agricultural or mining yield. This eats into the value added calculation of the farming or mining.and obscures the complete economic value of farming and mining.

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  132. I understood your comment, but apparently you either did not understand mine or have forgotten the context of your original remark.

    Tom Welsh commented that the U.S. had a virgin territory to exploit after the natives had been dispossessed, but Pseudoerasmus replied that this was too simplistic because U.S. “forestry, fishery and agricultural resources” are insufficient to explain U.S. productivity.

    Your elaboration of an accounting identity doesn’t help your case. U.S. financialization is a recent phenomenon that is not primarily driven by the underlying value of U.S. land and natural resources, but by the productive uses to which they are both put.

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  133. says:
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    The visual-spatial superiority of Asian seems more a myth. In the tests of “purest” visual-spatial ability as the mental rotation test and the line angle judgement test, Northern Europeans have higher scores. See : http://goo.gl/CBxLyF . Note that the study sample is huge, and that the result is consistent with the Project Talent, where asians, despite having better score in math tests, had lower scores on visual spatial ability tests.

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  134. @ Rudolfo M.
    interpreting the graph on page 995 of the page you linked to is a kind of visual exercise itself. It is true that Japan and China do not score better than European countries, but they also do not score worse, they score as good as France, Germany and UK. But actually Finland and scandinavian countries score a little bit better.

  135. The US financial sector is about 8% of value added and most other rich countries range from 4% to 6%. These differences aren’t big enough to account for the large lead by the United States in GDP per hour worked against most other rich countries. Not to mention the fact that Australia, the UK, and Ireland also have large financial sectors.

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  136. I mistyped “productive” instead of innovative. Should have posted a correction immediately.

    There is a sharp difference between pretending to be innovative, perhaps out of vanity (just as there are many crooks posing as special operations fighters online), vs a genuine desire to be innovative.

    Thus there are two distinct populations. Pretenders vs innovators. And it is the job of a competent patent examiner to segregate them.

    The WP link was raising the question of examiner fraud and competence.

    Clearly, the patents per capita etc is not a credible marker for innovations (and innovators) in a fine grain analysis.

    I suspect similar fraud in European patent offices.

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  137. I suggest you read economist Michael Pettis’ arguments on why the supposed “exorbitant privilege” is actually an “exorbitant burden”:

    http://blog.mpettis.com/2014/10/are-we-starting-to-see-why-its-really-the-exorbitant-burden/

    Pettis also thinks the new AIIB won’t amount to much, at least for a while:

    http://blog.mpettis.com/2015/04/will-the-aiib-one-day-matter/

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  138. The large lead may also be due to dollar as a global reserve. The way GDP is calculated isn’t as simple as its definition implies.

    There is also large scale legalized accounting fraud. read Feenstra and raghuram rajan’s work.

    On y-axis, male life expectancy is superior to GDP when measuring success and quality of life.

    Jews, swiss, japanese are on top. Women cope much better in stress, by crying, being more health aware, and rationalizing etc. In russia women coped much better than men after soviet implosion.

    Its not life, liberty and pursuit of GDP.

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  139. says:
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    Burden to whom? American tax payers. Privelages whom? The bankers and the GDP calculators.

    it distorts reality. GDP says america is much wealthier. But reality is far worse. That is the magic of “innovative” accounting and reserve currency.

    So arm chair analyst like anatoly kaarlin plots GDP of US, china, Japan, then declares china, japan underperforming, and gullible reader eagerly eats it.

    But those of us who have lived in both worlds know the ground reality.

  140. The way GDP is calculated isn’t as simple as its definition implies.

    Throw some arguments my way about GDP calculation.

    The large lead may also be due to dollar as a global reserve.

    Absolutely not.

    There are two kinds of “reserve currency” people. One kind stresses the fact that the United States can borrow in its own currency — which is not unique at all, so I don’t know why they make that argument.

    The other, somewhat more subtle kind, points to the supposed benefits the United States derives from global transactions being done largely in US dollars. On that I agree with this http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/seignor.html which states the case succinctly enough so I don’t see any need to elaborate.

    By the way, the ability of the United States to persistently run current account deficits with the rest of the world — which is also not unique, but never mind — actually lowers US GDP. American consumption is higher than its GDP.

    There is also large scale legalized accounting fraud. read Feenstra and raghuram rajan’s work.

    What are you referring to specifically and which works are you talking about ?

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  141. says:
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    You didn’t understand my comment, which was that the value of land and natural resources is not measured by the value added of things like farming, fishing, mining, etc. The economic rent is generally not captured by value added activities.

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  142. says:
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    China’s 8-10 -year-old-children IQ Map by provinces:(Average: 103.4)
    Chinese Jouranl of Endemiology- Owned by China ‘s ministry of health

    http://www.targetmap.com/viewer.aspx?reportId=40493

    sources: http://www.doc88.com/p-5803924483878.html
    Abstract: Objective To study children's intelligence after universal salt iodization (USI) had been implemented for 10 years in China. Methods: The children of 8 to 10 years were sampled by population proportion sampling method. The samples were divided into groups according to the province, age, sex, urine iodine. Intelligence quotient (IQ) values were measured by the combined Raven's Test in China (CRT-C2). Results The mean IQ of children was 103.4
    Top10 :
    1.The Xinjiang production and Construction Corps(All Han-Chinese) 119.5
    2.Zhejiang Province 115.8
    3.Shanghai 115.3
    4.Beijing 114.1
    5.Jiangsu Province 109.0
    6.Shanxi Province 108.0
    7.Shangdong Province 107.9
    8.Liaoning Province 107.5
    9.Fujian Province 107.1
    10.Jilin Province 107.0

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  143. The economic rent is generally not captured by value added activities.

    It doesn’t matter. You spoke of the financialization of the United States, and the figure you mentioned (financial companies making up approximately 30 percent of domestic profits) is meaningless if you don’t consider how productivity has enhanced business activity.

    In brief, your notion that the U.S. economy is wealthy today because it’s mostly or primarily a rentier economy based on land and natural resources is wrong. It doesn’t really matter what the exact figure is that you come up with. Any reasonable figure for that activity will be trivial.

    I suppose it’s possible to argue that the huge expansion of the financial sector in the United States over the last several decades is a new kind of rentier capitalism, distinct from both land holdings and natural resources, but that’s not what you were arguing.

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  144. This blog may not be the best arena for elaborate discussions, but for starters, here are some links:

    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/gross-domestic-product-charts

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0691156794

    Feenstra http://www.nber.org/papers/w17729

    Reserve currency benefits only the well connected financial firms, not the nation. Karalin post was about “national wealth” and IQ.

    Wish you the best.

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  145. I meant dollar reserve currency. But yen as a reserve currency helps the Japanese, because their economy is for the benefit of japanese nation.

  146. I meant dollar reserve currency. But yen as a reserve currency helps the Japanese, because their economy is for the benefit of japanese nation.

  147. #1 are most probably the children of the space and nuclear scientists and engineers. Since this is a selected pop the distribution is a exponential curve, and a quarter of them have IQ >130

    Interesting the Tibet distribution is not a normal curve but a power curve.

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  148. (1) Reserve currency status barely adds anything to GDP.

    (2) You were saying something about massive fraud. What were you talking about ? Neither Diane Coyle’s book nor Feenstra et al.’s paper contribute to your argument. Can you name what exactly does ? I know both. In the case of the ICP’s revisions to the PPP, these don’t affect the measurements of the rich countries’ GDP. They affect primarily poorer countries’ GDP in relation to the GDP of the rich countries.

    (3) Really, Shadowstats.

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  149. East Asians stress themselves out with all this intragroup competition and intragroup hostility that doesn’t necessarily achieve anything more than a positional good, so can’t cope with having another layer of stress from services, so pay out for ultimately inefficient (but comforting) services.

    That’s… an unusual interpretation with a lot of presuppositions. I’d argue simply that high density living increases stress. As for the rest, well, some high density cultures never develop a superb customer service-orientation. Some do. East Asians, by and large, did.

    Urban population density is an interesting one as well because it tends to raise the GDP per capita within country

    Possibly, *within* a given country, yes. But as the following list shows, international variance is great: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_density#By_political_boundaries

    By the way, while income may correlate poorly to crime, I think urban density may have a modest correlation. I’d have to take a look.

    Even if their marriage and divorce is not very different, they’re still committed to that idea that you marry before you have kids (not after, as the Nords often do).

    And don’t forget that unmarried East Asians often live with their parents until they marry. To repeat, their traditional family structure is still intact compared to that of the West. However, the divorce rates in East Asia have skyrocketed in the recent decades. So they are by no means immune to the rot the West has experienced.

    I like Japan a lot, but I tend to think of the people as atomised and lonely living in urban areas without much community, worried about burdening others with their problems, turning to odd obsessions, so I wonder if that’s wrong and actually they’re vigorously social and well supported with their families and friends.

    Urbanization leads to atomization everywhere. Urbanization tends to loosen traditional social bonds of a village.

    However, your perception of East Asia (“odd obsessions”) appears to be based on sensationalist press reporting in the West than is based on the real thing. I’ve lived and worked in East Asia extensively. Their extended family/friendship* cohesion is MUCH strong than that in the West. They also have A LOT of civil society associations (university class associations, military conscription cohort groups, workplace extracurricular groups, etc.) that are much more robust than the vestiges of such things in the West. In other words, East Asians still bowl together.

    *I read an interesting thesis written by a Korean-American university graduate that asserted that friendship in Korea is narrower and more exclusive, but of much greater intensity than that in the U.S. In other words, Koreans have fewer friends than Americans, but their friends are much more mutually-supportive and family-like. I think he is more right than wrong, and Westerners do tend to conflate frequent acquaintances as “friends” who are not, indeed, family-like.

  150. So not exactly pretty high, you’re right. Mainly a little higher than the Western and Central European average, based on larger countries mainly. Homicide gets higher east of east Poland, where Central Europe ends, with a few small country exceptions. But it’s hardly a great deal of difference.

    Let’s look at the whole thing.

    Homicide rates per 100,000 according to OECD:

    UK 0.3
    *Japan. 03
    Slovenia 0.4
    Switzerland 0.5
    Germany 0.5
    Austria 0.5
    Spain 0.7
    Italy 0.7
    Ireland 0.8
    Czech Republic 0.8
    France 0.8
    Denmark 0.8
    Ireland 0.8
    Australia 0.8
    Netherlands 0.9
    Portugal 0.9
    Sweden 1.0
    Poland 1.0
    *Korea 1.1
    Slovak Republic 1.2
    Belgium 1.2
    Iceland 1.3
    Greece 1.4
    Hungary 1.5
    Canada 1.7
    New Zealand 1.9
    Luxembourg 2.1
    Israel 2.2
    Norway 2.3
    Turkey 3.27
    Estonia 4.7
    U.S. 5.2
    Chile 5.2
    Russia 12.8
    Brazil 25.5

    Now considering the year-to-year variations and methodology variations (UNODC has a somewhat different set of data whereby, as of 2011-2012, the UK had 1.0 per 100,000, Japan had 0.3, Singapore 0.2, Luxembourg 0.8, Korea, New Zealand, Austria, and Netherlands all at 0.9), I’d say that with the exceptions of the bottom few in the OECD numbers, all have similar and very low rates of homicide.

    At these low rates (between 0-2.0 per 100,000), we are talking about mostly murders of passion and maybe occasional serial killers rather than random criminal predation.

    Korea’s position as 6th on that table seems is due to its low rates of physical assault, comparable to low assasult rate countries like Britain, Ireland and Poland and higher than higher assault rate Western Europeans like Sweden and Italy. I wouldn’t have expected Swedes and Italians to be more bar room brawlers of Europe compared to the 3 I mentioned, but it seems there are. Looks like Koreans today aren’t ones to get in a street fight (and the endemic beatings and slaps to the head inflicted on lessers by highers in Korean movies is a false impression, as is how some Korean talk themselves up as rednecks with fiery personalities).

    “Bar room brawls” aren’t the entirety of felonious assault convictions (in fact, they may be a small minority of such convictions). Usually such convictions are targeted attacks (often with weapons or with sexual intent) based on serious criminal predation. Ireland and Korea may indeed have more bar room brawls than Italians. Who knows? But they certainly have low rates of criminal assault and battery, sexual attacks, violent muggings, etc.

    As for the corporal punishment in Korea by teachers and parents on children (and by superior officers against subordinates in the military), that is not a myth and is very endemic. There is a lot of internal debate about that topic in Korea today.

    Regarding Koreans as “rednecks with fiery personalities,” I think that has more to do with the binge drinking and “grit” more than frequency of murder and criminal assaults (otherwise American blacks would be kings of the “rednecks with fiery personalities” title as would South Africans and Brazilians). Binge drinking is EXTREMELY pervasive in Korea, for sure, and as for their grit, well, I think they start them young and go from this: https://youtu.be/bnPT_WYQaPs

    To this: https://youtu.be/AYzQIaayvOI

    I’ve been dumped in icy water and I can tell you that it’s not fun. The nice thing about hypothermia though is that soon enough it feels all warm and numb.

    This is just interesting context for those discussions about how East Asian societies are, compared to Western and Central European ones, oh so safe and oh so low crime, so let’s forgive them anything else.

    First of all, I don’t know what this “let’s forgive them anything else” bit is all about. Maybe you can elaborate.

    As for the low crime reputation of East Asian countries, I think that has to do with some additional factors, besides their low murder + assault rates. First, most Western experience with East Asia is in the urban setting. When most Westerners (especially North Americans) compare the level of criminal predation in their cities with that in East Asia, they are very favorably impressed. East Asian cities are indeed generally very safe, which is not always the case with urban ghettos in the West.

    Second, arrest and conviction rates. In many parts of the West (especially urban areas), criminal perpetrators are frequently not apprehended and the conviction rates are typically low. In East Asia, arrest and conviction rates are extremely high (e.g. Japan has conviction rate that hovers in the high 90′s in percentage). It tends to reduce the sense of safety when criminals are on the loose.

    Third, and this is tied to the second point, in East Asian cities there is very little observable street crime and much greater “law and order.” That is often not the case in the West and certainly not in North America.

    Fourth, Western view of East Asians as having exceptionally low crime rates as immigrants in their own societies affect their thinking on the issue as well. For example, Asians account for about 5% of the U.S. population but only account for 1% or fewer of the arrestees for violent crimes.

  151. says:
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    I don’t know who you’re arguing with. I never claimed that the “U.S. economy is wealthy today because it’s mostly or primarily a rentier economy based on land and natural resources”.

    I’m not sure what your point is. Are you saying that the value added of things like farming, fishing, mining measures the value of land and natural resources? Or that the economic rent is trivial? Both?

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  152. You read this part, right?

    Results The mean IQ of children was 103.4

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  153. Clearly, the patents per capita etc is not a credible marker for innovations (and innovators) in a fine grain analysis.

    I wouldn’t say “clearly.” In social science a lot of things can’t be measured directly, so you have to rely on proxies. The utility of proxies varies, but in life you go with “the least worst available.” I have no doubt there are fraudulent patent application attempts (just as there are academic frauds in publications), but in absence of other quantifiable proxies, patents per capita and peer-reviewed publications are useful proxies for technical/scientific innovation and advances. I think they are certainly more useful than counting the Nobel Prizes for Physics or Fields Medals.

    Even accounting for fraud, the changing numbers over the decades provide some useful comparative information.

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  154. It appears that you have neither read nor paid any attention to how GDP calculations work.

    You simply assert that feenstra’s and coyle’s work does not add anything to my point.

    You further mock at shadowstats. And what exactly is your credibility? Is it not massive legalized accounting fraud, that divergence in john williams’ chart between govt gdp growth data and reality is so wide?

    My original point was that GDP is a very bad measure of national wealth. Which is amply clear if you read the entire comments thread, and read coyle’s book which is simple to understand even for non-specialists.

    Reserve currency allows currency arbritage to go unchecked. And this allows cheap goods flowing in to artificially induce disinflation. If dollar wasn’t the dominant reserve, inflation adjusted GDP would be much lower.

    But egoism makes it hard to admit when you are wrong, and hence the continued posturing, instead of admitting your defeat and moving on graciously.

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  155. I don’t know who you’re arguing with. I never claimed that the “U.S. economy is wealthy today because it’s mostly or primarily a rentier economy based on land and natural resources”.

    You commented on a discussion that was already underway between Pseudoerasmus and Tom Welsh, and you did so in such a way that suggested you agreed with Mister Welsh about the importance of the value of virgin land and natural resources to the U.S. GDP.

    Land and natural resources are only valuable to a modern economy to the degree they’re used productively, and I doubt either sector contributes heavily to financial profits in the U.S. The real estate sector, for example, is but a small part of the total U.S. stock market, and the ag sector is almost nonexistent. There are other ways to measure financialization, of course, but that’s just an illustrative example.

    I’m not sure what your point is. Are you saying that the value added of things like farming, fishing, mining measures the value of land and natural resources? Or that the economic rent is trivial? Both?

    Both.

    The financialization of farming, fishing and mining is a poor way of judging the value of those enterprises, since any value added to those sectors is only enhanced by increases in their productivity or U.S. productivity.

    Economic rent on unproductive or stagnant enterprises is also trivial. To the degree there is growth in economic rents because of scarcity, they reflect increases in U.S. productivity.

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  156. According to your logic, quantity, and increasing quantity of patents, is a useful proxy.

    If this logic is applied to improving high school graduation rates (more patents), than lowering the standards (bad patent examiners), would increase the quantity of graduates (patents), and this would serve as a useful proxy of school success!

    Again, let’s come back to earth. Quantity of patents, without some measure of quality, cannot be a useful proxy for innovation. Nor academic publications.

    A feynmann quote on social sciences: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-18/farce-economics-richard-feynman-social-sciences

  157. It appears that you have neither read nor paid any attention to how GDP calculations work.

    You simply assert that feenstra’s and coyle’s work does not add anything to my point.

    You further mock at shadowstats. And what exactly is your credibility?

    Click on his website and you’ll get a good sense of his expertise and, hence, his credibility on this topic.

  158. @ Twinkie. I’m just going to comment on the stuff I think would move along our discussion a little and add value to what you say (it’d drag us increasingly off topic if I reply to everything where I don’t have a lot more to say than I have).

    Re: community and family – I don’t know how warm and supportive family relationships are between East Asians. I don’t think feel like East Asians turn to their brothers or sister or mother or father especially easily, or have that close contact with them through their life (not exactly the stereotypical Italian mamma’s boys). That’s not a measure though, so there you go.

    The OECD Better Life give a middling rank to Japan and a low rank to Korea on their community measures – http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/community/ – which are a composite of questions relating to helping a stranger, volunteering, and whether a person states that they have a social contact that they can rely on to help them personally (so presumably the respondents for Japan and Korea said they didn’t have much of those).

    That may not reflect community in East Asian societies, which may have a lot of community despite having low levels of those things.

    On whether Asians bowl alone, the blogger HBD Chick (who is a little obsessive on this stuff, perhaps too obsessive) pulled together a list of participation rates in civic groups from the World Values Survey, when the sample was asked about it -https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/civic-societies/. Including being a member of groups to play sports etc.

    Japan and Korea don’t really stand apart. They look lower the Western Europe and particularly the Anglo countries, not lower than Eastern Europe. (I tend to think the Eastern European pattern may be due to Communist governments somehow leading people to be resistant to joining a lot of little groups.) I’d have to take that more seriously than your anecdotal, for me, since your anecdotal might be reflective of the people you spent your time around with Asia. Putnam may have found Americans were tending more to bowl alone, looks like they still bowl together way more than other countries do.

    Re: whether assault rate differences much relate to serious crime, they could do.

    On the other hand this assault rate is based on an International Gallup poll (presumably to get around differences in criminal law, report rate, etc.) where they basically just asked “”Within the past 12 months: have you been assaulted or mugged?” and it considers people declaring having been assaulted or mugged as a percentage of the population.

    I tend to assume the vast majority of people who’ve been assaulted haven’t actually been subject to violent crime, so that’s why I was thinking generalised fighting in society would drive the differences in %. Although the two should correlate somewhat and if absolute physical safety rather crime is the benchmark, I can see this assault rate.

    Re: Conviction rates, my stereotype would be that differences in conviction rates would be definitely real, for various reasons I could think of.

    Taking Japan, there’s a low incarceration rate for crime I think per conviction (compare to the US’s dysfunctional culture driven routine imprisonment), in terms of duration. So absolute convictions might get higher where stakes are lower.

    At the same time, my stereotype would be that, society wide collusion with the police should also be higher in Japan – supposedly they have a less “adversarial” system with not much real criminal defense that’s balanced with or fighting against prosecutors, witnesses support a law and order ideology and are happy to come forward, judges don’t challenge the cops much. That could lead to a lot of low friction in low enforcement, and so a higher conviction rate. It’s comparatively nice to be a cop in the East. Whether Western societies confronting their norms would actually be happy that justice had been done.

    Arrest rate I’m not so sure about.

    Re: crime rates as migrants, yes, that’s real and causes some overgeneralisation to what societies full of East Asians would be like. East Asians can do relatively well in Western societies (despite whatever culture-gene-economic incentive weirdness may lead to differences in their own societies) and I don’t imagine they really have much confidence about how they fancy themselves as being able to physically overpower or intimidate or socially trick Western people, on the whole. So those factors come together, with others.

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  159. The mean IQ of 103.4 is for the total sample. What I mentioned is from the second ref source the intelligence faction for the top region the mean of which is 119.5. You read that right?

  160. You further mock at shadowstats. And what exactly is your credibility? Is it not massive legalized accounting fraud, that divergence in john williams’ chart between govt gdp growth data and reality is so wide?

    Shadowstats is a crank site. Anybody who uses it is a crank.

    http://econbrowser.com/archives/2008/09/shadowstats_deb

    http://www.economonitor.com/dolanecon/2015/03/31/deconstructing-shadowstats-why-is-it-so-loved-by-its-followers-but-scorned-by-economists/

    http://azizonomics.com/2013/06/01/the-trouble-with-shadowstats/

    Reserve currency allows currency arbritage to go unchecked. And this allows cheap goods flowing in to artificially induce disinflation. If dollar wasn’t the dominant reserve, inflation adjusted GDP would be much lower.

    And this arrant nonsense is what you’re claiming is supported by Feenstra and Coyne ? Chapter and verse, please.

    By the way, Feenstra’s paper you cited is about PPP calculations and specifically PPP calculations for China. I guess you don’t even realise US prices are the base for PPPs ! That is, all other countries’ price levels are indexed to the US price level. So why would changes in PPP methods address the calculation of US GDP ???

    My original point was that GDP is a very bad measure of national wealth

    Those semantics do not matter, since the issue at hand is why the US GDP per capita, as currently estimated, is so high relative to other rich countries. That is how Karlin framed the question.

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  161. Dear duxie ! You wrote:
    .
    “selected pop the distribution is a exponential curve”.
    .
    Apparently you meant to emphasize the properties of “the standard Bell Curve”,
    or Gaussian curve W(x) = const*exp[-(x^2) / (2*sigma^2)].
    I would like to remind you
    that not all functions containing the symbol “exp” are to be called “exponential curves”.
    IMHO, a convincing example is a function F(x) = exp[-3*ln(x^2)],
    which is just F(x) = 1 / (x^6) , definitely not an exponential one.
    An exponential curve is G(x) = a*exp[b*x], with positive or negative constants “a” and “b”.
    .
    I want to use this occasion to express my protest against people
    using the adjective “exponential” in the meaning ‘enormously large’.
    Actually “exponential” means ‘in geometrical progression’ with respect to some sequence,
    not an attribute of a single value.
    .
    Your F.r.

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  162. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Read the study again. It points out several limitations of the survey. I quoted the relevant section below. I suspect these “limitations” are the reasons why the authors avoided cross-country comparisons and focused on gender differences.

    “Several limitations to the BBC data are worth noting. First,
    the BBC participants did not comprise a random sample.
    Because the BBC survey was implemented via the Internet, it
    tended to attract participants who were young, educated, and
    computer savvy (see Reimers, 2007). At the same time, the
    national samples assessed by the BBC survey were often
    larger and more diverse, in terms of participants’ age and
    geographic locale, than the samples assessed in many recent
    cross-cultural studies of sex differences and, unlike much
    recent cross-cultural research on sex differences, the BBC
    sample included many non-college-student participants.

    The BBC survey was implemented in English, which
    may have affected the responses of participants from non-
    English-speaking counties. Although instructions for the
    mental rotation and line angle judgment tasks were in English,
    the tests themselves were ‘‘nonverbal,’’ and thus it could
    be argued that performance on these tests was less affected by
    English fluency than other measures in the BBC survey.
    Finally, the mental rotation test used in the BBC survey was
    shorter than standard paper-and-pencil mental rotation tests,
    and participants’ performance on the mental rotation and line
    angle judgment tasks in the BBC survey may have been
    subject to more sources of error variance than performance
    under more standardized laboratory settings. Indeed, mental
    rotation and line angle judgment tasks administered in controlled
    settings often show larger mean sex differences than
    those reported here (Collaer et al., 2007; Peters et al., 2007).
    Thus, the current results, if anything, may underestimate the
    true strength of associations.”

  163. I explained to you why its so high. Bloated services sector.

    But you cite crackpot economists to smear credible people as crackpots. How can anyone take you seriously?

    Williams has given congressional testimonies. That does not guarantee one is not a crackpot. But it will caution and alert the readers to your deceptions.

    Yes I cited Feenstra as an example of how china’s GDP PPP has been underestimated.

    Keep deceiving the gullible readers here. Good luck.

  164. You assert that quantity of patents, or increasing quantity of patents over time, is a useful proxy for innovation.

    According to this logic, increasing the graduation rates (more patents) of high school students by lowing the standards (bad patent examiners), means increasing school success!

    Let’s come back to earth. Quantity of patents is not a credible proxy without measuring quality. Nor are academic publications.

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  165. Few more points:

    1) crackpot economists: 2y before fin. crisis, Milton friedman lavishly praises greenspan and marvels at US GDP “strength”, on charlie rose show.

    2) example of bloat: japan’s services sector is lean. few Japanese own stocks. Much of their savings is cash. But US stock MKT is massively bloated.

    3) japanese manufacturing is more productive, more advanced than US.

    4) US is largest debtor. Japan is largest creditor. But according to Karlin its all east Asian mediocrity.

    5) last 15 years, US pop grows 0.8-1% per year, but average income, inflation adjusted, is stagnant, even declining for bottom 50% labor. That itself is a huge red flag that US govt GDP data is fraud and crackpot economists are wrong.

    Before you go back to your keyboard use commonsense. Its not that hard.

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  166. The quantity of patents, together with increasing quantity of patents over time, is indeed a useful proxy for innovation, for otherwise the world’s patent organisations and their patent offices should all be shut down already, because what’s the point of having them? You should put forward your counter-argument directly to patents lawyers of WIPO first of all.

    Your analogy of “lowering the graduation rates” doesn’t fit here, because WIPO has a certain unified acceptance standard on patents applications worldwide. Otherwise, there would be no point having these WIPO offices either, because, as you said, any country can just lower its acception standard to artificially beef up its quantity.

    That said, it doesn’t mean quality is not an issue . Quality can be used as a sort of adjustment to the first moment quantity figures.

    The ideal is the combination of both. But if forced to choose only one as the proxy, intuitively quantity appears less troublesome.

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  167. For all those who mention # of Nobel Science as a sort of “gospel evidence” of innovation or avg IQ level, pauleez, stop making Panda laugh. ROFL

    There’re many driving factors for Nobel Science awards apart from IQ, GDP per cap (i.e. how much R&D funds available to individuals, and how high is the “gaint’s shoulder” on which he stands, etc ), closeness to global education centres(i.e how good and how tight are one’s personal networks in academic fields directly lead to which topic is hot and what’s the chance of nomination, etc), time lag, nomination committee members’ personal preferences, etc., just to name a few. Taiwan has some Nobel Sci whereas China(PRC) zero, Chinese in Taiwan have higher IQ than Chinese in China? West Germany had some Nobel Sci whereas East Germany zero, Germans lived in West Berlin had higher IQ than the ones lived in the East side? … ROFL! Is that HBD-level “logic”?

    1. Any prize (such as Nobel Science, field medal, etc) needs some kind of pre-nomination from a certain group of people somewhere is fundamentally a subjective beauty roadshow in bikinis. If it means sth, it only means that these prize-winning individuals must be very smart, and lucky.

    2. Furthermore, any individual prizes ( such as some computer prizes, maths competitions, some awards, etc), even without pre-nomination, is not an objective evidence of innovation or avg IQ of population they represent either. C’mon, this is just common sense.

    Only a widespead objective-score-based test (such as SAT, some nation-wise exams, etc) with a concret, clear and singular answer, or a standard sampling (TIMASS, PISA,etc) using a unified methodology, means something on the populations they represent. The rest are abc-level crap!

  168. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Well I do agree that land and natural resources are important. That’s not the same thing as saying that the “U.S. economy is wealthy today because it’s mostly or primarily a rentier economy based on land and natural resources”.

    Most of the gains in productivity are captured by the economic rent of things like land and natural resources. An idle plot in an urban area that has no productive activity on it at all will be much more valuable than a capital good that could be used on the land for productive activity. Modern neoclassical economics obscures this by treating land and everything else as “capital” and ignoring economic rent. Looking at value added, for example, is symptomatic of this.

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  169. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_distribution

    “Note that the exponential distribution is not the same as the class of exponential families of distributions, which is a large class of probability distributions that includes the exponential distribution as one of its members, but also includes the normal distribution, binomial distribution, gamma distribution, Poisson, and many others.”

    Except in this case the exponent is positive, hence did not use the term “negative exponential distribution”

    > ‘Apparently you meant to emphasize the properties of “the standard Bell Curve”,’
    I definitely not meant that if you bother to look up the data in the 2nd ref. There is nothing special to be highlighted if it is “Bell Curve”.

  170. I find it astounding that you don’t consider the effect of the American’s ability to write the rules of global trade.

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  171. crackpot economists

    But you yourself are citing economists (Feenstra and Coyne) !

    And you still don’t cite the page numbers. Obvious why — you can’t.

    Reserve currency allows currency arbritage to go unchecked. And this allows cheap goods flowing in to artificially induce disinflation. If dollar wasn’t the dominant reserve, inflation adjusted GDP would be much lower.

    (1) There is no necessary connection between reserve currency status and “unchecked” currency arbitrage.

    (2) If currency arbitrage is “unchecked”, so what ? For floating currencies (like the US$), currency arbitrage is a non-problem.

    (3) Besides, currency arbitrage might lead to cheaper imports only by causing US$ appreciation. But there is no reason currency arbitrage should cause either appreciation or depreciation (at least without more information than you’ve given).

    (4) There’s nothing “artificial” about cheap goods “induc[ing] disinflation”.

  172. But prima facie the effect of the US “ability to write the rules of global trade” results in the USA being able to run persistent current account deficits equal to a few percent of GDP.

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  173. Who will shut them down? Have tax payers shut down beltway corruption yet? Why make such silly assertions?

    Did you even read the wash post column?

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  174. I don’t know how warm and supportive family relationships are between East Asians. I don’t think feel like East Asians turn to their brothers or sister or mother or father especially easily, or have that close contact with them through their life (not exactly the stereotypical Italian mamma’s boys).

    Warm? Not in the Western sense with effusive kissing, hugging, and constant “I love you’s,” no. Supportive? Absolutely. It’s expected (especially in South Korea) that parents work to death to provide funds for their children’s education including college fees. Parents also house and feed their unmarried children until they tie the knots. And when the kids do marry, the parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts and such, if they are financially able, provide (usually) a modest apartment or house, furnishings, etc. down to televisions and pillows. And everyone, I mean, everyone, cousins to the 8th degree, friends, school chums, work colleagues, bowling buddies or what have you bring envelops with money to the wedding.

    This is not as common in Japan, but in Chinese and Korean cultures, lunar new years are celebrated with HUGE family/clan gatherings where all the little children kowtow to their elders individually and collect envelops filled with money.

    And the cycle goes on and on. East Asians often have a complex web of family and friend relationships with a strong sense of mutual obligations and support (and it’s not just family – one of the most important lifelong social relationships in East Asia is the class cohort of one’s university).

    Don’t take my word for it. Just ask anyone who’s lived and worked a long time in East Asia and have developed relationships with the natives (outside the typical expat bubble).

    The OECD Better Life give a middling rank to Japan and a low rank to Korea on their community measures – http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/community/ – which are a composite of questions relating to helping a stranger, volunteering, and whether a person states that they have a social contact that they can rely on to help them personally (so presumably the respondents for Japan and Korea said they didn’t have much of those).

    That may not reflect community in East Asian societies, which may have a lot of community despite having low levels of those things.

    Indeed. That’s because East Asians do not consider helping or volunteering for a stranger a part of their communal activity. East Asians are late arrivals to the concept of res publica, so their notion of community is their extended family/clan and what sociologists call primary groups (family/clan, school chums, neighborhood friends, fellow church members, etc.). Again, East Asians have fewer “friends” but more intense sense of mutual obligation and support.

    Interestingly, according to the OECD, the Korean and Japanese senses of “civic engagement” differ. Korea ranks no. 3 while Japan scores rather poorly. I don’t know what to make of that.

    I’d have to take that more seriously than your anecdotal, for me, since your anecdotal might be reflective of the people you spent your time around with Asia.

    That may be. However, I am not convinced by the HBD Chick’s numbers (I know they are from the World Values Survey), because church membership and labor union activities, for example, are extremely organized and militant in South Korea, but show up as very low on the survey. South Korea has the second highest number of Christian missionaries in the world, after the United States! (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/01/international/asia/01missionaries.html). That from a country with only 50 million people. If you are stationed in Seoul, you cannot go a mile (or a kilometer) without running into a church (or being bothered frequently by someone urging you to join his church). And East Asian Christians aren’t just “nominal” members of their church, as is frequently the case in Western Europe where adherents claim membership but do not participate actively in the mass/services/activities.

    so that’s why I was thinking generalised fighting in society would drive the differences in %.

    Muggings and bar brawls are very different. In most cultures bar brawls aren’t considered “assault” even if they are technically. They tend to be broken up by bouncers and tossed out, and not exactly prosecuted vigorously. Muggings are a different story though.

    Taking Japan, there’s a low incarceration rate for crime I think per conviction (compare to the US’s dysfunctional culture driven routine imprisonment), in terms of duration. So absolute convictions might get higher where stakes are lower.

    Yes, shorter durations. That’s also the case in Europe, especially Scandinavia.

    Prisons in Japan and South Korea are not brutal gang turfs like prisons in parts of the West. They are Spartan and tough, but also orderly. And they are seemingly very successful at reforming the convicts because recidivism rates there are very low (as is the case in Scandinavia).

    At the same time, my stereotype would be that, society wide collusion with the police should also be higher in Japan – supposedly they have a less “adversarial” system with not much real criminal defense that’s balanced with or fighting against prosecutors, witnesses support a law and order ideology and are happy to come forward, judges don’t challenge the cops much. That could lead to a lot of low friction in low enforcement, and so a higher conviction rate. It’s comparatively nice to be a cop in the East. Whether Western societies confronting their norms would actually be happy that justice had been done.

    There are two reasons for the high conviction rates. First, police is not seen as outside occupiers. Japan and South Korea have real “community policing” – their beat cops, unarmed, are stationed in small “boxes” or offices embedded in neighborhoods and patrol constantly, mingling with the neighbors and business owners. They are like small town cops in the West. They know everyone and everything going on in their areas of responsibility. When crimes happen, they know who the “usual suspects” are. And, yes, they get very good cooperation from the citizenry. Now, while one might consider that “comparatively nice” from a Western perspective, Asian cops are also paid pretty badly by American standards and their benefits are similarly meager. And generally they have pretty unexciting careers, taking in and storing lost money found and brought in by kids and such (http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/04/10/japan.lost.cash/index.html and http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/22/world/la-fg-japan-returned-money-20110923).

    The second reason for the near perfect conviction rate is… confession. East Asian cops will apply what Israelis call, er, “moderate physical pressure” to elicit confessions. Or, even without such physical pressure, they will hold the suspects until confessions are made. Of course, this kind of tactic can create horrible abuses of justice where there is no democratic accountability (e.g. PRC), but somehow in Japan and Korea, the cops seem to manage to slap the right suspects as recantation (“I only confessed, because the cop slapped me!”) is almost nonexistent.

    Still, as an American, I don’t quite care for that kind of justice system at all, but the Japanese and the Koreans seem to manage well with it.

    I don’t imagine they really have much confidence about how they fancy themselves as being able to physically overpower or intimidate or socially trick Western people, on the whole.

    That’s an odd supposition. I don’t think East Asian immigrants in the U.S. refrain from violent crimes because they feel they are too small or physically too weak (that’s what guns are for). Southeast Asians (especially Cambodians and Laotians) are even smaller than East Asians and they have substantially higher rates of violent crime than East Asians. And the Hmong are notorious for their violent crimes.

    I think a vast majority of East Asians has no *intention* to commit any violent crimes, because they have high conformity to social and legal norms and lack transgressive attitude toward their non-Asian neighbors (especially whites). You seem to go out of your way to ascribe speculatively as negative a possibility/motive to East Asians as possible.

    Look, I am an American of East Asian background. And I happen to believe in a *very drastic* reduction in immigration (including from Asia), because *any* (even highly educated, low criminality Asian) mass immigration lowers social cohesion and is unhealthy for the country (I subscribe to Derbyshire’s dictum that “diversity” is like salt in a soup; a little adds some taste, but too much ruins the soup). But facts about extremely low East Asian criminality in the U.S. are what they are. You don’t have to invent convoluted psychological rationale (“they don’t commit crimes, because they think they are too weak”) to deny them credit where it is due.

  175. Do you even know what is WIPO?

    WIPO is an UN organisation, a co-publisher of Global Innovation Index, largely financed by application fees.

    WIPO uses a uniformed standard across all its patent offices worldwide, aiming to ecourage innovation and protect exsting IP.

    If every of WIPO member states are able to lower their own standard themselves in order to soup up their patent quantity as you assert, of course WIPO offices would be shut down, either by the UN due to serving no purpose – making no sense at all, or by itself due to running out of its member state customers, hence finance source. Why would someone goes to a WIPO patent office paying a fee for his application in Spain while there could be 1,00o similar sub standard patents souped up by others in Nigeria overnight making his original application worthless? Silly? ROFL. Who’s silly?

    Hence since all major countries are WIPO member states (Taiwan is not a member though, but count into the US patent office usually), WIPO patent quantity (and underlying growth trendline analysis) is a good enough proxy for gauging innovation capabilities across the world , even though it should ideally be combined with and adjusted by quality analysis as well.

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  176. But prima facie the effect of the US “ability to write the rules of global trade” results in the USA being able to run persistent current account deficits equal to a few percent of GDP.

    And you claim that with a straight face?

    ROFL!

    The US “ability to write the rules of global trade” thanks to

    1. in the short term, the Bretton Woods system!

    2. in the mid term, the British Industrial Revolution!

    3. in the long term, the cyclical economic ups & downs of the East and the West!

    It has jack to do with “USA being able to run persistent current account deficits equal to a few percent of GDP”.

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  177. If the USA has written the global rules of trade, then the effect shows up where ? In the US current account balance. It’s been in deficit by a couple of percent of GDP since about 1980.

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  178. That ole ‘derivatives’ magic..

  179. Effect? lol. How about (almost) whenever 2 third parties conduct trades between each other in the last half a century, the US has taken a free cut on commissions even while it’s sleeping, just because the merchandises/commodities have most likely been priced in privileged USD?

    It’s not about trade balance or whatever deficit. Why the US worries about the % of trade balance on GDP if it has the $ printing machine? It can easily control both the nominator and the demoninator via many means.

    The US can, as it has been doing ferociously (and sometimely anonymously as well, as the FED is a private organisation/club, my!) for quite some decades now.

    Panda wonders (even taking the top 1% into account) why the heck the USA didn’t have GDP per cap of USD 1 million already? The US can theoritically print whatever amount of $ as it wishes regardless of ceilings, and the rest of the world, noticeabelly the East Asian countries being the largest buyers of IOUs, will pick up the tab of the so called “American Exceptionalism & Productivity”, by absorbing the “irrational exuberance” inflationary impact… C’mon , it’s pretty much an open secret for quite some time now.

    USD 8.5 trillion was unaccounted for in Pantagon alone in 2013! Take that. Do you really think at this time they care about tiny things such as the few percentage points here or there?? It is by and large an off-balance sheet accounting game that given instructions most entry- level CFAs in Mumbai can easily handle.

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  180. US dollars is modern `gold’. Gold is a form of natural resourse like oil. Countries with large amount of natureal resourse can be easily rich.

    USA have plenty of natural resource like cheap land (agricultural outpout, business starting cost), woods, mineral, modern ‘gold’- Dollars.

  181. How about (almost) whenever 2 third parties conduct trades between each other in the last half a century, the US has taken a free cut on commissions even while it’s sleeping, just because the merchandises/commodities have most likely been priced in privileged USD

    It does not happen.

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  182. UN itself is thoroughly corrupt. Of course the patent process is not completely discredicted. If Nigeria was clocking 10,000 patents, it would be.

    But it is sufficiently discredited so that quantity alone is meaningless. You are dishonest and refuse to admit your analytical blunder.

  183. The reserve currency status of the US$ makes it easier for the USA to borrow on international markets. Non-Americans are willing to sell goods and services in exchange for printed dollars, and/or lend the money to buy them with. This means the USA can spend more than its own production (i.e., persistent current account deficits). And it also means the USA exports less than if the US$ had not been a reserve currency. And it also means the USA has higher debt than if the US$ had not been a reserve currency.

    I don’t see the huge benefits.

    Also, all developed countries can borrow in their own currencies, so I don’t think “exorbitant privilege” even exists any more.

  184. People who can’t figure out that 911 was an inside job have little to say to me about IQ.

    Relating IQ to National Wealth seems a bit silly when you remember that people and ideas move about.

    Examples:
    Einstein went to Switzerland where he did some of his best work.
    Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago.
    Edward Teller father of the H-Bomb.
    Various Nazi Scientists under Operation Paperclip, brought us our space program and its satellites.

    Much of our current information based economy goes back to Bell Labs who invented the transistor, the Unix Operating system. C Language etc. Most things are designed on computers these days.

    To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, A nation is about as wealthy as it decides to be.

  185. Well I do agree that land and natural resources are important. That’s not the same thing as saying that the “U.S. economy is wealthy today because it’s mostly or primarily a rentier economy based on land and natural resources”.

    We’re talking about why the U.S. is slightly wealthier on a per capita basis than most other developed countries. You seemed to be supporting the idea that the U.S. just has more land and natural resources than other developed countries, and that if we accounted for the economic rents collected for that bounty, then it would become obvious why we’re wealthier than other developed countries.

    But economic rents have a specific definition of scarcity that, in principle, strongly suggests that having a lot of land and natural resources should make it harder to drive up the prices on those goods beyond market value.

    In other words, we should expect that smaller countries with fewer natural resources and less land have higher economic rents for those goods.

    Most of the gains in productivity are captured by the economic rent of things like land and natural resources. An idle plot in an urban area that has no productive activity on it at all will be much more valuable than a capital good that could be used on the land for productive activity.

    The only way this is true is if the surrounding urban area already supports productive industries and businesses. An idle plot in San Jose won’t support many productive activities, but an idle plot in Detroit sure will. So will an idle plot in Utah or Texas.

  186. For instance, while male and female IQ tends to be similar, though the latter have famously narrower distributions, it appears that at least on progressive matrices tests, a 5 point gap opens up during the 20s in favor of men and persists thereafter.

    That doesn’t appear to be actually true. This is an artifact of more attrition of males on the lower end and the greater male SD. Getting truly representative samples of adults is very difficult.

    JayMan do you have some data on this? Why you think it is not true?

    As my kids went through HS and off to college i’ve been around kids of this age yet again a fair bit. Most kids take the SAT–our data point for roughly similar IQs–at 16 and change, maybe retake at 17. My observation is that the “girls” at this age are really “young women”. But the boys–and i’ve dealt with a lot of them as scoutmaster for my son’s troop–are still “boys”.

    Many of the boys still actually grow physically past this point. My son–who has a fall birthday and so took the SAT right around 17–nonetheless kept creeping up about 3/4 of inch over the next year and change. Wasn’t completely at his adult height till probably a few months shy of 19. I run into some of my scouts–they often contact me for recommendations and such–after they’ve gone off to college, i note that they are different. That they’ve finally matured into “young men”. But my daughter’s friends–i took a bunch of her track\XC friends to Florida for spring break as seniors–seem … pretty much the same. I’m sure they are maturing, getting wiser about the world in college. But physically and behaviorally i don’t see a lot of difference from how they were in HS. They were young women then and are young women now.

    I’d just be surprised if this difference in physical maturity at 16-17–the SAT timeframe–does not also translate into a difference in mental maturity as well, with men still growing and adding capability to their brains between 17 and 20. And much more so than young women.

    ~~~

    It should be possible to get a handle on this sort of thing by doing some longitudinal studies. For example comparing folks between SAT and GRE.

    But it should also be possible to account for attenuation of left-fringe males, by ignoring the mean of a sample and comparing the male\female modes or curve peaks. If the effect is just attenuation the male curve would be skewed–the mean moved, but the peak in the same relative position. If males generally add brain matter and get smarter, then the curve peak moves right relative to females.

  187. remember the movie “Chinatown?” That movie could probably not be made today cuz of Pee Cee.
    The “inscrutability” of events was expressed in the line, “Its Chinatown.”

    here’s something from today’s NYT: and my comment. The story is about the fad of Tibetan Mastiffs who once sold for up to $250k and now are just , uh, dogmeat, worth about five bucks a pop.

    Subject: Fw: NYTimes.com: Once-Prized Tibetan Mastiffs Are Discarded as Fad Ends in China ( slaughter house for dog-meat…who eats dogs anyway?)

    I have an acquaintance, a banker, who is Catholic and therefore I assume believes that God has a Plan that must be Good. Reminds me of the old line, “How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb.” I have always assumed that this was a joke laid at the door of the Catholic Church , yet I wiki ed it and discovered that it was the subtitle of the movie, Doctor Strangelove, by Kubrick who I assume was a jew, and starred another jew, Peter Sellers. So, I would bet that the line WAS laid at the door of the Catholic Church by jewish subverters. Blame The Church for Oppenheimer’s bomb, plus other jews and their accomplices, naive Whites who wanted to help the Jews kill Germans and Russians, both of whom threw out the Jews.

    Today, The Bomb is mostly a Jewish threat if you think about it, what with the Jews clamoring to bomb the Middle East and Russia back into the No age. And of course, our Exceptionalist Puritan Hebraizers shouting the loudest while the neocons grin, laughing all the way to Jerusalem.

    So China. My above Catholic friend, a banker and no slouch intellectually, deals with the Chinese and agrees with my diagnosis and countless others (whites ) around Silicon Valley that there is something wrong, shall we say, with the Chinese. Greed and one-dimensionality which leads to general dishonesty and bullying behavrior even on the street. If you are a pedestrian, and see a chink creeping her 6000 pound SUV menacingly close to you as you walk the cross-walk, watch it!

    The chinks come in with their China money made usually on the backs of other Chinese semi-slaves, and god knows what else and buy houses here for investment which is a pretty good investment …Silicon Valley and all. The chinks are everywhere and Every White person I talk to about it, dislikes or hates them. They are universally regarded by whites as a threat. Forget the Darkies around here, of which there are almost none, and the Mexicans pretty much behave themselves and accept a subaltern status and are largely friendly…its the new Yellow Peril. And there are over a billion of them…an inexhaustible supply of chinks.

    My Catholic friend thinks it is Cultural and that it will take a couple generations to assimilate them to White civility. Well, as I usually say these days, you want to know what kind of a person, X is? Consider where they came from. Whether it is racial origins, or other social origins for, say, Whites, I suggest that future behavior can be predicted by past “breeding.” We today can spot a psychopath by the time he is about 8 years old…genes try, sometimes, but they can’t lie.
    Got a Chinatown in your area? Have they Changed into nice White people? How many generations is it now since @ 1875? Or the Darkies, have they Changed? Except for more hatred of us?

    The old American and European term, “Good Breeding” has been a very loose term, suggesting not only genes, but instruction in the arts of proper social behavior, so that Mom and Dad, for example are not embarrassed by their children. “Please, thank you, how are you” and so on.

    The chinks are addicted to gambling (narcissistic Belief in one’s Specialness), luck and magic in for example, even the house you buy… it must comply with magic-based strictures on placement on the street with regard to various angles, numbers, or whatever. Don’t want evil coming in the front door, so you build a wall just inside the door to prevent evil spirits entering. Seems evil spirits don’t like to go around corners….they travel in a straight line. (there is some poetic sense to this, like in linear thinking, Hebraized thinking per the Old Testament. More Hellenistic thinking allows for deviations and consideration of sidebars)

    I have seen chinks picking their noses in public. I have the common experience at my gym, of chink behavior….they don’t know how to say “excuse me”. They will dart around you to save time, they don’t say hello. They are very rude in general. Queue? forget it. They will jump ahead in a line at the grocery store.

    This I am told by two friend who live in Foster City , near San Mateo, CA. Which is infested with chinks. These guys hate them, and have dealt with them physically when violated in the grocery.

    Chinks will never change. They are a total Menace. The New Yellow Peril. The only thing worse than a stupid psychopath is a smart psychopath.

    . East is East and West is West and Never the Twain Shall Meet, except in the halls of Money, and if you think the Jews are Other, you have not met their match.

    China is China, always has been an Oriental Despotism, per Marx, and always will be. These chinks devour their own people, and we Whites are just so much cattle, like the Jewish goyim…Goyim ‘r’ us.

    By the way, the whole world is Oriental, outside of Europe and the anglophone countries. Well, maybe Africa is not Oriental…just an evolutionary dead end with nothing to show for tens of thousands of years of evolution of homo sapien sapiens. Global South and all. No snow and ice to stimulate genetic selection.

    There is no Democracy (with whatever that means) outside of European genetics-based countries. India some will say…not really but they did get a good dose of White genes about 3 thousand years ago with the Aryan invasions…hence the Indo-European language connection with us.
    Joe Webb.

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  188. @ Twinkie: Warm? Not in the Western sense with effusive kissing, hugging, and constant “I love you’s,” no. Supportive? Absolutely. It’s expected (especially in South Korea) that parents work to death to provide funds for their children’s education including college fees.

    It’s not really so much about “I love yous”, more about being able to get advice or a reality check or mentoring from your parents and family when you need it, a lot more than the (probably over) stereotypical “You gotta work harder”, “Don’t disappoint me” and lobbing money at the kid. Being able to talk about your problems rather than stressing out about if you admit to having problems, you’re not filial or a bad son or whatever. It’s about maturity and helping the child learn to be simpatico with others, not about being warm and fuzzy.

    Also, I guess I wasn’t really aware that the costs of raising a child, in terms of the average spending per child, were particularly high in East Asia. Are there actually any international stats on this one? I can’t actually find any. In terms of working long hours, Korea does, Japan is fairly high but a lot less exceptional these days. Actually seeing that broken down by parents would be interesting. Although it would be hard to see that take into account how much effort the parent makes for the child outside working hours, and in a sense its kind of immaterial compared to the spend.

    In general East Asians don’t spend as much of their public spending on childcare or early education, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that motivates parents a little more to work for provision for their kids, and it takes some time to adjust culturally to different regimes.
    In the context of traditional family values (which I think is why we got on to this), I do tend to think not really of primarily financial support but more a human, emotional and moral development guidance based relationship, developing practical and social and emotional skills along side one another in traditional family contexts. Emotional relationship plus the transmission of values and social abilities that lead to kids having marriages and kids and not cratering fertility and relationship rates (regardless of marriage).

    Another index of family values would be intact families – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254450/Demise-nuclear-family-British-children-likely-live-parents-major-Western-nation.html That’s pretty good in Japan, almost as good as in Finland and the traditionalist Southern European countries, so when they do have their divorces, they probably are between parents who don’t have kids yet.

    Again, East Asians have fewer “friends” but more intense sense of mutual obligation and support.

    I think the “sense” is more intense… whether social support and obligation happens more in practice is another question. There is some work on East Asian sociology by a Korean academic Heejung Kim (so I assume she knows Korea) which mentions that social support seeking in East Asian societies may be rarer because the high explicit pro-social ideology leads to harsh judgement of perceived free riders and everyone is more worried about appearing prosocial so are discouraged from seeking support and looking like a “mooch” (so to speak).

    Interestingly, according to the OECD, the Korean and Japanese senses of “civic engagement” differ. Korea ranks no. 3 while Japan scores rather poorly. I don’t know what to make of that.

    The value is a composite of trust in the state and voter turnout, so I’m guessing South Korea has a lot of both, compared to more… politically cynical and apathetic nations. Apparently this is a big function of wealth in SK – better off citizens really turn out to make sure everything is stays on course (people like the disaffected “Ilbe” idiots don’t?). And I expect they are probably ideologically relatively democratic – nothing like a few mad Nationalist Socialists (basically) across the border to concentrate the mind on democracy. Doesn’t necessarily have too much to do with engagement with one another within communities.

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  189. South Korea has the second highest number of Christian missionaries in the world, after the United States! (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/01/international/asia/01missionaries.html).

    Probably being a recently missionised country has to a lot to do with it – many Koreans were converted by missionaries within living memory, and they take them as role models (and to some extent and so on).

    East Asian Christians aren’t just “nominal” members of their church, as is frequently the case in Western Europe where adherents claim membership but do not participate actively in the mass/services/activities.

    HBD Chick only counted self declared “active members” in her comparisons, so it’s possible the perception of the standard of what being an active member means differs between country and influences the outcome.

    Seems like a puzzler though – there’s a low importance on religion in Korea not just on WVS but also on the Pew Surveys (2002) data (http://www.pewforum.org). http://www.pewglobal.org/2008/09/17/chapter-2-religiosity/

    And they are seemingly very successful at reforming the convicts because recidivism rates there are very low (as is the case in Scandinavia).

    Recidivism is probably naturally fairly high as lots of prisoners just age out of crime (as per a Clockwork Orange, if you want a literary example). There’s some interesting stuff on this in criminology literature – an overly harsh system actually can makes the outcome worse, as it leaves people with lots of experience being around criminals and few skills.

    That’s an odd supposition. I don’t think East Asian immigrants in the U.S. refrain from violent crimes because they feel they are too small or physically too weak (that’s what guns are for). Southeast Asians (especially Cambodians and Laotians) are even smaller than East Asians and they have substantially higher rates of violent crime than East Asians. And the Hmong are notorious for their violent crimes.

    Hey, there’s a physical element in my post, but I also acknowledged that as generally educationally successful, East Asians (of the Han, Korean and Japanese stripe) generally don’t have as much cause to resort to crime, and more to lose if they go to prison, nor do they tend to form gangs that work outside the system at such a high rate, unlike other dropouts from the system. That’s is where East and Southeast Asians tend to differ, even though Vietnamese and the like are a little shorter and slighter. I’m sure physicality does matter a bit, as how often do people even use guns in normal countries? Being able to organize in numbers is probably the more important offset to relatively more diminutive physical size.

    I somewhat doubt the idea that “(East Asians) have high conformity to social and legal norms and lack transgressive attitude toward their non-Asian neighbors” (the latter of these doesn’t really even seem to matter very much since the majority of crime is intra-ethnic, even for high crime rate groups) rather than that the incentives to violence and crime for them seem quite different. There are incentives and disincentives and situations leading to violence and crime that apply to different groups differently. You don’t have to take it 100% as true, I just think these kind of incentives and disincentives and ethnic self organisation by young men and violent experiences loom higher than moral principles or conformity or work ethics and so on here.

    How did we get here from GDP anyway?

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  190. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    The Germans used to eat dog recently and apparently some Swiss still do, along with cats:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B04E4D9133EE033A25750C2A9609C946697D6CF

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9C0CE7DC1531EE3ABC4A52DFB066838E639EDE

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/30205410

  191. Anatoly Karlin,

    You engage in the practice of chronically chipping away at that which you do not wish to be true and chronically adding to that which you do wish to be true. Your intellectual estimates for whites have been added to with very optimistic assumptions, and your intellectual estimates for East Asians have been chipped away with pessimistic ones.

    While some of your points are valid and fully creditable, many other points indicate an extreme lack of mathematical sophistication and general intelligence—at least relative to what I’m used to.

    Whether or not we wish it to be true, the reality genuinely seems like an East Asian intellectual capability of a full standard deviation above that of whites (e.g. the IQ of Chinese or Asian Americans who are not yet on the same intellectual/cultural/social/etc. standard of living as Americans and western Europeans center around 115). That is what reality currently seems to be converging to. It is an intricate topic to discuss and as such I will not get into it here unless really prompted by the readers of this blog.

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  192. […] National Wealth and IQ at the Edge: American Exceptionalism, East Asian Mediocrity – anatoly karlin’s “big-ass blog on national wealth, IQ, HBD, East Asians, smart fractions, etc.” (~_^) […]

  193. East Asian mediocrity doesn’t just show up in economic performance, although that’s where its most readily quantifiable.

    Every kind of intellectual and creative activity shows Asians lagging relative to whites and Jews at the extreme upper end. People have been noticing this for a very long time and puzzling and scratching their heads over it, but its been possible to argue that Asians have been suffering from some kind of institutional, political, or developmental handicap that is holding them back, or even some kind of personality deficit.

    One you look closely at these arguments, they don’t hold up well. But people still use them as fall back arguments.

    However, these arguments are becoming increasingly impossible to maintain as time passes. If Asians don’t do something in the next 30 years the verdict will be in and impossible to ignore.

    IQ just doesn’t seem to correlate well with the extreme upper levels of achievement for Europeans either. European countries with similar IQ’s and similar institutions and levels of development nevertheless show extremely wide disparities in achievement at the upper ends.

    Maybe its time to admit that IQ tests are useful but limited tools? After all, the idea that the ability to solve puzzles involving shapes in an abstract setting that doesn’t obviously relate to the real world would translate into an ability to have deep insight across disciplines into problems involving real world entities was always an article of faith to be tested against real world performance. Well, the results are in, and they are mixed. Some predictive ability, but no more.

    We certainly shouldn’t discard IQ. But the Asian experience, as well as the wide disparity in achievement of similar European populations, should perhaps teach us to approach it with more caution.

    However, such humility goes against the grain of the modern scientistic quantifying movement. One sees this with nutrition as well. Not much is reliably known about nutrition, but wide ranging claims are made with absolute confidence nevertheless. It seems that anything that can be quantified commands immediate acceptance.

    However, a case could probably be made even within the framework of IQ.

    Asians have at best a 5 point advantage over whites in IQ, a third of a standard deviation. Japan, the most successful Asian country by far, having achieved developmental parity with the West at a very early date in the late 19th century, has an average IQ of 106. In the end that isn’t much, and might well be accounted for in terms of environmental factors. Ron Unz’s excellent series of articles showing how IQ for various ethnic groups can rise by as much as 10 points when certain environmental conditions change, chiefly the shift from a rural to an urban setting, should give everyone pause.

    Cities, and even towns, in Asia are nothing like what they are in the West. Asian cities provide a much denser and more stimulating environment. If you compare perhaps the densest and most stimulating Asian city, Tokyo, with its closest Western counterpart, New York City, its impossible not to be struck by just how much more of a stimulating environment Tokyo provides.

    And while most Asian cities are more or less like Tokyo, few Western cities are like New York.

    Again, the link between high achievement and IQ is full of mysteries and puzzles. In the 10 year period of 1927-1937 American Jews had an IQ of 101, quite similar to whites. Yet even then Jews were outperforming whites.

    Much more research has to be done. We know little as yet. Too many puzzles and mysteries.

    If the Asians don’t show any ability to pick up the torch of progress whites have let drop, which I sadly suspect they cannot, we are doomed. Because whites have lost all drive to accomplish.

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  194. more about being able to get advice or a reality check or mentoring from your parents and family when you need it, a lot more than the (probably over) stereotypical “You gotta work harder”, “Don’t disappoint me” and lobbing money at the kid.

    Is this your vision of the kind of support that East Asian parents provide? If it is, it appears to be based on highly superficial understanding based on sensationalist mass media coverage, rather than actual, on the ground, understanding of what East Asian parents are like in real life.

    In reality, (from this American’s perspective) emotional support provided to East Asians from his friends and family is *suffocatingly* frequent and pervasive. If anything, East Asian societies retain the traditionally paternalistic social mores of elders (parents, uncles, aunts, teachers, etc.) providing unsolicited advice, concern, and such in the mold of the “It takes a village” manner, unlike, say, in the United States where it is common for children to reach 18 and leave home in the stereotypical quest for individual autonomy.

    that social support seeking in East Asian societies may be rarer because the high explicit pro-social ideology leads to harsh judgement of perceived free riders and everyone is more worried about appearing prosocial so are discouraged from seeking support and looking like a “mooch” (so to speak).

    The problem here is definitional. By “social” support, does Kim mean from the public sector or from family & friends? Seeking support from the public sector is indeed seen to be disgraceful (as was the case in the United States decades ago). But much of primary relationships in East Asia revolves around mutual support giving. Indeed, China, Japan, and Korea all have complex unwritten social rules about reciprocal support (and gift) giving, in ways that are completely absent in the post-modern West (Southern/Catholic European countries still have such rules, as anyone who’s been to a Spanish or Italian wedding can attest).

  195. This is a young man’s game, obviously, which I am not. Nevertheless I am impressed by Karlin’s comprehensive, open minded, approach to the data (especially liked the way he highlighted differences in countries’ labor participation rates and hours worked per year in making comparisons of GDP per capita — you don’t see that very often) and was frankly astonished by the variety of disagreements it triggered. Jayman’s dissents, though overly dogmatic, are particularly interesting to me, and I will be curious to see how right his genetic determinism turns out to be. I guess I’m a genetic determinist in old age. We are what we are and we ain’t what we ain’t.

    But how will we separate the sheep from the goats?

  196. Probably being a recently missionised country has to a lot to do with it – many Koreans were converted by missionaries within living memory, and they take them as role models (and to some extent and so on).

    Possibly. But that’s a proximate cause. Why was Korea so receptive to Christian missionaries in the first place?

    Indeed South Korea is somewhat unique in that it combines a dramatic rise in income and economic development *and* rise in religious, specifically Christian, fervor.

    That’s is where East and Southeast Asians tend to differ, even though Vietnamese and the like are a little shorter and slighter. I’m sure physicality does matter a bit, as how often do people even use guns in normal countries? Being able to organize in numbers is probably the more important offset to relatively more diminutive physical size.

    Vietnamese are “a little shorter”? Let me provide the relevant numbers:

    Average male height in the U.S (age 20-29).: 177.6 cm (5 ft 10 in)
    Average male height among white Americans (20-29): 178.9 (5 ft 10.5 in)
    Average male height in S. Korea (20-29): 173.5 cm (5 ft 8.5 in)
    Average male height in Vietnam (25-29): 162.9 cm (5 ft 4 in)

    As you can see the Vietnamese are substantially shorter than South Koreans (4.5 inch difference!), yet the former have much greater (violent) crime rates than the latter in the United States (and in Asia too, for that matter).

    This is what you wrote earlier:

    I don’t imagine they really have much confidence about how they fancy themselves as being able to physically overpower or intimidate or socially trick Western people, on the whole.

    Your assertion that East Asians recoil from crime because they lack confidence due to diminutive “physicality” is utter nonsense. Low crime rate is likely a combination of internal genetic and cultural factors *regardless* of the size of their non-ethnic kin neighbors. Pakistanis are smaller than the English, but it doesn’t stop them from committing relatively higher rates of crime (especially sex crimes) in England.

    the latter of these doesn’t really even seem to matter very much since the majority of crime is intra-ethnic, even for high crime rate groups

    This seems to contradict your earlier assertion that interracial size difference is a factor in violent crime rates.

    Furthermore, while it’s true that most crimes are intra-racial, you ignore that the interracial crimes rates differ enormously by race in the United States. Blacks have incredibly high rates of interracial crime (tens of thousands of non-black women are raped by blacks each year; the reverse is almost nil). Something like 80% of assaults in San Francisco are black-on-Asian as another example.

    To further invalidate your assertion of “physicality” component of interracial (and inter-ethnic) crime, note that South Koreas are much larger than Vietnamese (to a much greater degree than the size different between American whites and Koreans), but the South Koreans *in* Vietnam do not go about committing violent crimes against their smaller hosts. South Korean crime rate in Vietnam is probably about what their crime rate is in the United States. As such, they are not responding to situational incentives and disincentives as you claim, but are expressing their genetic-cultural propensity for lower criminal orientation. (Similarly, think of the Swedes in Italy or Greece – do they go about assaulting Italians or Greeks because they are bigger than their hosts? No, they are, for largely reasons of genetics and culture, a low crime people and behave accordingly no matter whether they happen upon smaller or bigger others).

    How did we get here from GDP anyway?

    Er, it all started with your statement that South Korea has a “pretty high” murder rate when in fact it has one of the lowest rates in the world. You strike me as a generally intelligent and reasonable person, but occasionally certain non-scientifically-derived agenda seems to peek through in your assertions (e.g. Asians don’t commit crimes because they are weak, we forgive them everything because they supposedly have low crimes, etc.).

  197. Every kind of intellectual and creative activity shows Asians lagging relative to whites and Jews at the extreme upper end. People have been noticing this for a very long time and puzzling and scratching their heads over it, but its been possible to argue that Asians have been suffering from some kind of institutional, political, or developmental handicap that is holding them back, or even some kind of personality deficit.

    One you look closely at these arguments, they don’t hold up well. But people still use them as fall back arguments.

    Because that argument appears very likely, that’s why.

    For example, another commenter elaborated on why measuring interracial genius quotient based on something like the Nobel Prize is highly problematic because the small number is easily given to distortions like celebrity and familiarity (even in the science prizes).

    But even setting that aside, one might note that during 1997-2014 (18 years), there have been 10 ethnically East Asian Nobel laureates in physics. In contrast, during 1901-1996 (96 years), meaning the entire history of the prize prior to 1997, there were only 6 ethnically East Asian Nobel physics winners.

    Either the East Asians just became much more genius-y in the past 18 years or they were indeed held back by “some kind of institutional, political, or developmental handicap” from which they seem to be emerging.

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