There are millions of Gastarbeiters from Central Asia and the Caucasus in Russia. But contra /pol/ wignats and Ukrainian svidomy, it really doesn't seem like the Kremlin intends for them to stay. At least that's the general gist of this Bloomberg article by Henry Meyer and Ilya Khrennikov: Putin Sticks to ‘Russia First’ Even as... Read More
New census finds that there are 37.3M people in the Ukraine, down by almost 30% relative to their Soviet era peak of 52M. This means that at least semi-officially, the Ukraine now has a lower population than Poland for the first time in recorded history. In reality, even this is probably a significant overestimate: Official... Read More
While we wait for the last data to trickle in to update Russian Demographics in 2019 for the new year, I would note that Rosstat released a new demographic forecast at the end of December. Here is the TLDR on what they project for 2035: As usual, there is a Low, Medium, and High scenario.... Read More
As I have written in prior posts, Russian demographics continues to improve as it has throughout the Putin era (Russian Demographics in 2019). Life expectancy is going up very rapidly, constituting a new record of 73.6 years as of the first eight months of this year. Deaths from external causes continue to plummet, including homicide... Read More
Is the talking point I'd use if I was in the business of making pro-Russia propaganda. Poll: апр. 92 апр. 09 май. 11 май. 12 май. 13 май. 14 мар. 15 май. 15 май. 16 May 17 Sept 19 Gathering documents for exit <1 1 1 1 <1 1 1 1 1 1 <1 Have... Read More
In my Age of Malthusian Industrialism concept (see archive), I explore the possibility of a future scenario in which technology stagnates due to problems becoming harder and dysgenic reproduction patterns. Meanwhile, the demographic transition will be reversed, since fertility preferences are heritable, and ultra-competitive in a post-Malthusian world. This may eventually bring the world population... Read More
The mean wage in Hong Kong not much more than $2,000 per month (a Croatian acquaintance who works there cited the same numbers half a year ago). Its surprising come to think of it, but that means that Muscovites - where salaries are $1,500 per month but multiplied by almost twice - are substantially more... Read More
As commenter Reykur recently pointed out - citing the work of the blogger denalt, there is a rather curious phenomenon occurring in a few ethnic Russian regions, where rural fertility has exploded in the past decade. As you can see from the above graph, there has been a rather strange divergence between rural fertility rates... Read More
This is yet another question that excites much heated commentary in the "Ukraine debates." There is a "school" of thought amongst the more ideological Russophiles that the Ukraine has completely emptied out. Here is an article by Andrey Fomin in which he argues that it only has 22-24 million people versus the official figure of... Read More
In my tradition of rescuing sufficiently fine comments from the relative oblivion that are long comments sections, I am reprinting Thulean Friend's detailed comment on Israel's prospects in the last Open Thread. *** I got into a discussion with Dmitry some time ago about emigration patterns from Israel. His postion was that it was an... Read More
Rather interesting article from the FT on Russia's recent successes in VAT collection, which is soaring thanks to digitization and AI. How was this done? Basically, hiring IT nerds and giving them authority. I wrote about a seemingly similar reshuffle at Rosstat earlier this year, in which an ageing Soviet-era economist was replaced with a... Read More
Sweden (Yes!) comes in for a hard time with the Alt Right and the /pol/ crowd on the Internet where it has basically become a meme. However, there's something Sweden - and the Nordics - are doing right.
The new list is out for June 2019. Observations: (1) As noted before, the only relevant countries at this stage are the United States and China. (Europe and Japan became marginal in this game a decade ago). The world's two top systems are now again American, while China's one-time leader the Sunway TaihuLight (all built... Read More
Yoder, Christian N., and Scott A. Reid. 2019. “The Quality of Online Knowledge Sharing Signals General Intelligence.” Personality and Individual Differences 148 (October): 90–94. Humans don't work for free. Gold. USD. Online reputation. There needs to at least be something, because otherwise there will be nothing.
Andrew Yang - THE WAR ON NORMAL PEOPLE (2018) Rating: 5/5 You can access all of my latest book, film, and video game reviews at this link, as well as an ordered, categorized list of all my book reviews and ratings here:
The second round of the Ukrainian elections are this Sunday. * Zelensky is almost certainly going to win (PredictIt has had him at ~95% for weeks now). It looks like he is going to blow Poroshenko out, probably something like Zelensky 67% vs. Poroshenko 30%. * Unless plans change I'll be discussing the Ukrainian elections... Read More
I have sometimes made the point that All-Russian improvements in mortality/life expectancy lag the City of Moscow (or the Baltics) by around a decade. There are some good, relevant graphics that reinforce it from a recent paper: Щур, Алексей Евгеньевич. 2019. “Города-миллионники на карте смертности России.” Демографическое обозрение 5 (4): 66–91.
In my 2011 series comparing life in the US, Britain, and Russia, I wrote the following about university admissions: Overall, university admissions are probably the most meritocratic in the UK. In Russia, though the system is supposed to be meritocratic, it is skewed by corruption, for it is not unknown for applicants to bribe admissions... Read More
The Boeing 737 Max's current failure rate of ~1% of all airframes in the mere three years it has been flying commercially is, obviously, astoundingly bad. But it's worth noting that this comes on the back of astounding improvements in air safety over the past century.
It is pretty evident that Chinese naval power is growing by leaps and bounds, with a lot of qualitative literature about it: Chinese military procurement ($70 billion) now half the rate of American ($155 billion). Adjust for purchasing power parity, and it should be virtually equal. If China is ahead deploying Railguns, electromag catapults and... Read More
There are a number of transport network companies [TNC] operating in Russia - apart from Uber, there is also the more popular Yandex.Taxi, as well as the taxi hailing Gett and a few others. These companies are a vast improvement from the days of the old gypsy cabs, many of them illegally run by Caucasian... Read More
In recent weeks, there has been cynical coverage of the dismissal of Russian state statistics director Alexander Surinov, and his replacement by Pavel Malkov; especially as it was soon followed by an upwards revision of GDP growth since 2016 (including 2.3% growth in 2018 vs. expectations of 1.5%-2.0%). Is the Soviet era of politicized statistics... Read More
I keep citing Twitter demographer @Cicerone1973. I don't know if he is a professional analyst, but his own projections of Russian TFR and LE usually match mine to the decimal point, so I am sure that he knows what he's doing. And what I try to do for Russia he does for most of the... Read More
I find the comments on extractive elites to be very plausible and they would form an interesting complement to viewing them in terms of Mancur Olson's roving vs. stationary bandits theory, which is the main prism through which I view the differential development of institutions in the post-Soviet space. Ages ago, I read Jeff Sach's... Read More
There have been some recent debates on this blog's comments threads about human capital in Poland, Russia, and the West Russian lands while they were under Polish rule. While there is a consensus that Poland was more intellectually advanced than Russia, at least during the 17th century, the relative position of the Ukraine and Belorussia... Read More
So far as Western media tropes on Russia go, this one is in the almost entirely false category. See my most recent comprehensive debunking here: The Nth Wave of Russian Emigration. The "increase" in question almost exclusively accrued to greater numbers of Central Asians leaving Russia after the 2014 devaluation made working in Russia as... Read More
This all rings true enough. I have always been skeptical about taking the mania for S&M business development too far - there are limits to the scope of the projects that they can take on, and on the extent that they can technologically upgrade entire sectors of the economy. Interestingly, this is also the position... Read More
Recently, the Russian government published its 25.7 trillion ruble ($390 billion) plan for the years 2019-2024 [pdf] - Putin's fourth Presidential term - for socio-economic development. This is a quick summary on the request of a reader. PS. Numbers are given using one USD = 60 rubles conversion. All end dates, unless otherwise indicates, refer... Read More
Russia detains U.S. founder of Baring Vostok private equity group: *** EDIT: Consensus of more informed people seems to be that this is narrowly related to a commercial dispute. He is also apparently far more prominent in finance and US-Russia business relations than I gave him credit for. I am not involved in either of... Read More
Now here's the problem: Carbon taxes are extremely regressive. Furthermore, they hit hardest precisely those groups - the rural and small town blue-collars of the US - who have been hit hardest by economic globalization, which massively benefited the transnational oligarchy and the developing world but left the Fishtowns behind in a haze of deindustrialization... Read More
The dawn of Russia's era of mass restaurant outings - which began in the early 2000s, in line with an unprecedented expansion in Russian personal prosperity - was dominated by sushi. But when I returned in 2016, it was already clear that era was in decline. Sure, there were - and are - still plenty... Read More
Female earnings decline after the birth of their first child. But according to a new paper released a few days ago: Kleven et al. (2018): Child Penalties Across Countries ... it happens to markedly different extents across different countries and cultural blocs. Robert Dur summarizes: The earnings hit is surprisingly well correlated to public opinion... Read More
Russia harvested 133 million tons of grain in 2017, beating the all-time RSFSR record set in 1978. It has also been consistently harvesting more grain than in the Soviet years since the mid-2010s. Graph via @burckina-faso, a pro-Soviet blogger, so can hardly be accused of bias. Code: Red/blue lines = Total production (left scale; millions... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.