Off the Mass Shell

Luboš Motl has now also posted on google gapminder, and since I haven't had a Lumo related posted for a bit, here is a fragment of dialog from his comments:
Most interesting to me was the fact that once fertility drops to some low level (2 or 2.5) rapid economic development in per capita GNI is almost inevitable. Further, the only examples of high GNI/c countries that have relatively high fertility are Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
CapitalistImperialistPig | Homepage | 06.01.06 - 6:55 am | #

I think that you're confusing the cause and effect, CIP. The number of children per woman is around 2-2.5 *because* the people are already kind of secured materially (against hunger etc.), and they just want to do the same for their children.
Lubos Motl | Homepage | 06.01.06 - 10:47 am | #


I don't really disagree with the logic, except on one point. If you look at the gapminder graphs and traces, it's clear that in almost all cases, fertility falls first, and only then does per capita GNI increase. Thus, if cause and effect is as Lumo argues, it must be carried by tachyons. I'm going to go with the traditional idea that cause precedes effect.

Probably the most notable example is China, which started as one of the poorest (per capita) nations on Earth, but has grown explosively ever since fertility became very low.

Lumo - For example, you will find out that there is no visible correlation between GDP per capita (in international dollars) and the percentage of women in labor force, something that the feminists would like you not to know. If there is a small correlation, it is negative.

CIP - An oversimplification. Except for oil rich Middle Eastern countries, *all* rich countries have high female participation in the workforce. Some, but my no means all, of very poor countries have even higher work force participation by women.


  1. CIP,

    excuse me for posting off topic, but I thought you and/or your readers might be able to help me with a math puzzle (it is on my blog).


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