Anglo average is over New Zealand is too small

The world’s highly skilled immigrants are increasingly living in just four nations: the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, according to new World Bank research highlighting the challenges of brain drain for non-English-speaking and developing countries.

I don’t think we have thought through well enough the final equilibrium here.  English will be the global language for a long, long time to come, and China will remain robust as a major source of indigenous talent.  A lot of Chinese could leave and there would still be a lot of smart Chinese around in China.  I do fear, however, for the politics in this semi-cosmopolitan but not cosmopolitan enough Anglo-American world in the making…

That is from Adam Creighton at the WSJ.


Smart people sure are racist.

I don't think that is what he means:

I do fear, however, for the politics in this semi-cosmopolitan but not cosmopolitan enough Anglo-American world in the making…

It seems the point is that the Anglo-sphere is not racist enough to refuse to share the benefits of their society but they may be racist enough to stop the transformation of their countries into giant versions of Malaysia - a third Chinese, mainly Muslim with no civil liberties at all. Which TC thinks is a problem. Yes, New Zealand ought to embrace its future as Mauritius. Because the origins of immigrants don't matter so Mauritius must be a paradise.

One interesting analog to New Zealand is how mediocre Hawaii has done economically compared to the immense hopes placed in it by liberal American mainstream in 1959. When I was researching why the Presidents maternal family moved to Hawaii in 1960, I was struck by how high expectations were in the 1950s-1960s for Hawaii:

Yawn. Take your racism elsewhere Sailer. Hawaii in fact is quite nice for a tropical place, and a lot of Filipinos wish they were as prosperous as the Hawaiians.

Hawaii is just a remote island getaway. If you want to go to Asia, then go to Asia.

It was widely assumed a long time ago that being an American state and being paradise were a winning combination. Having roughly the same demographics as Silicon Valley also seemed promising.

Today, that's all forgotten that there were once high expectations for Hawaii. Hey, it's better than Puerto Rico is the current attitude. But why is it worse than Singapore?

Hawaii would seem like an interesting topic to study from an economic geography point of view: why did Hawaii disappoint? Especially if you could get a grant for some in person research next winter.

Yawn. Your ignorance is no excuse. Have you read Krugman's trade papers in the original (well neither have I, but I've read summaries), which explain clustering effects? Why, due to historical accident or just being first, cities specialize and draw people from all over the earth? Why did Hollywood, an arid climate with a few oil derricks and mostly small time, become Hollywood? Because that's where they first started making pictures and it drew more picture-making people there, in a sort of positive feedback or feed-forward effect.

Take Singapore: it draws rich folks from all over southeast Asia because it offers security and it something like "just like America" (but with more laws and regulations). That's why the rich live in Singapore. It's pretty well known in the Philippines. Same with Switzerland: lots of rich Greeks, including the richest Greek, Spiros Latsis, live there for security and comfort purposes.

Hollywood became Hollywood because a younger generation of filmmakers from New York (which was where film happened back then) got sick of having lawyers from older, establishing filmmakers chasing them for copyright violations; so they fled somewhere where the New York lawyers would have a harder time reaching them.

Obviously the difference is that Singapore was once a British colony but when one of the chiefs in Hawaii asked for it to become a British protectorate, the request was declined.
I mean, it's hard to see any other salient difference between the history and geography of the two places.

No, movies didn't start in Hollywood. But they moved there for the reliable sunshine back when film wasn't as sensitive to light as it became later. As an example, Ithaca, NY used to be a place films were made (e.g. some of the episodes of "The Perils of Pauline") because of the ready availability of cliffs and waterfalls near roads and services.

More related to Hawaii as a failure: it's a long way from anywhere, Its competitors for sub-tropical agriculture were closer to markets. Other than agriculture, its main industry has been hosting a naval base. I don't think it's surprising that Hawaii is not like Singapore.

Other than agriculture, its main industry has been hosting a naval base. I don’t think it’s surprising that Hawaii is not like Singapore.

No. Real estate (about 1/4 of local product from private industries) and hotels and restaurants (11%). Agriculture accounts for < 1%, though they do have some signature crops like sugar cane and pineapple.

Singapore, like Hong Kong, is surrounded by hundreds of millions of people within 1 hour's flying distance, and has good commercial law, which the rest of the neighboring countries generally do not. Hawaii is surrounded by empty Ocean, and has the same regulatory system (broadly speaking) as the mainland. So no advantage at all in putting your money there.

Of course Hawaii is a much nice climate that Singapore, and I would bet that the standard of living in Hawaii is actually higher on a PPP basis than in Singapore, so it's not all been bad.

I don't see any way in which geography has explanatory power in this case.

I'd link Hawaii would get pretty boring for the 20-30 yr old tech crowd after a while.

If you don't understand the geographical problems with Hawaii already, I'm not sure what to tell you. Ever heard of island fever? Hawaii is extremely isolated. That's really it. And it matters a lot. People go there for a year or two and they love it but at some point they become desperate to move back to the mainland. And that's just their personal preference, not to mention business inconvenience.

"I don’t see any way in which geography has explanatory power in this case."


You don't see why a remote island chain thousands of miles away from major population centers might have issues building a strong economy?

Also worth mentioning that Hawaii is substantially richer than New Zealand.

There's nothing wrong with Hawaii. It's an affluent territory with a satisfactory quality of life for those interested in that sort of thing. The trouble is, you have to want what Hawaii offers. Not everyone does. About 40% of the population is small town and rural and about 80% of such people cannot commute to a city because they're on an island without any cities. Another 60% live in greater Honolulu, which has the agreeable property of being less ticky-tacky than Las Vegas.

One thing which inhibits moving there is housing costs. Quite affluent people in Honolulu commonly live in high rises rather than detached housing. A close relation of mine rented a condominum from an out of state owner from 1969 to 1979. He never bought a condominium in that building. The building, constructed in 1968, was torn down some time in the last decade. I checked some listings ten years ago out of curiosity and discovered that he'd lived in the smallest floor plan available in that building and that the asking price in 2006 for that floor plan was north of $400,000. If real estate prices declined pari passu with the large cities on the mainland, you would still have been looking at $270,000 for a smallish two bedroom apartment. That's the sort of price you see in middle ring suburbs of Washington. Honolulu is not an affluent city with 4,000,000 people living in it. It's an average city with 800,000 people living in it.

You're also forgetting the culture. A fellow I went to school with grew up in Honolulu, spent one year on the mainland as a college student, and returned to Honolulu. He's still there AFAIK, now practicing medicine. A mutual acquaintance offered this assessment of why he'd gone back home: "Stuart's very local". The haolies in Hawaii are largely an assemblage of people who liked the climate more than they were attached to their place of origin. For the ethnic Japanese, Hawaii is their home. They're a normal assemblage of humanity, with wage earners, small business, technicians, civil servants, and some professional people and wealthy entrepreneurs. They're not top heavy with highly educated professionals and strivers. Life is meant to be appreciated, not conquered.

Hawaii is too beautiful. People don't want to work. It is the same reason that once seafaring Polynesians went there they lost the art of making large boats and sailing the seas.

Some of the countryside is beautiful (bar on the Big Island where volcanoes have ruined it). Honolulu is not beautiful in a visual way. It's the air that's beautiful to the touch and sometime to the olfactory sense.

"Honolulu is not beautiful in a visual way. It’s the air that’s beautiful to the touch and sometime to the olfactory sense."

You talk funny.

Having roughly the same demographics as Silicon Valley also seemed promising.

To whom? Silicon Valley wasn't Silicon Valley in 1970. In any case, the mode in Hawaii is Japanese, and Japanese with a distinctive local sensibility to boot. Haolies are next (about 1/3 fewer), followed by Filipinos, followed by Chinese. The local Polynesians are about 10% of the total, and most have mixed ancestry.

I) what is it going to get rich on? And 2) who will pay for the shipping costs from that location to its markets?

Steven Sailer saying, effectively, "Demographics are not everything" for a dynamic economy, as I live and breathe...

Like I said, Hawaii vs. New Zealand vs. Singapore is an interesting topic to discuss relative to how rarely it comes up.

You could add in Iceland, Ireland, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and so forth.

My paranoid conspiracy theory about Puerto Rico, by the way, is that since the tie election in Florida in 2000, Congressional Democrats want Puerto Rico to be a complete failure in order to tip Florida blue by causing ever more Puerto Ricans to flee to Florida, where they can vote for President.

If ethnic Chinese leave Canada they will be Canadian citizens who migrate to the USA just like the hundreds of thousands of other Canadians have done during the past two centuries or so, beginning at least as long ago as the Cajuns and other Acadians.

But unlike the millions of Americans who have migrated to Canada starting in 1778.

Anglo Canadians speak with a largely American accent because Canada was primarily settled from the US. If it had been settled primarily from the UK, Canadians would have an accent something like Australia, NZ, or South Africa.

It's more specific than that. The brain hubs are (in no particular order):
London, New York, San Francisco / Silicon Valley, Toronto, Sydney, and Boston. Very few (if any) highly-skilled migrants are moving to Nottingham; to Arkansas; to Newfoundland; or to Wollongong. This is a story about urban concentration. It's Richard Florida's "The World is Spiky [PDF]" all over again.

Are there highly skilled people in these places, or just good networkers?

Is there a difference?

I would add Houston (oil). Also, where's Europe on the brain hub map? One example: chemistry is boring but useful and very profitable.

Woolongong pracitcally is Sydney.

Now *Melbourne* on the other hand, really is the sticks.

What happens to a country when its political capital, and the center of its economy, becomes almost purely a world entrepot for the top tier of talent from the world's second tier cities?

Particularly in Australia and the UK, where there are really no secondary outlets, no second tier world cities, for the natives to seek their fortune in, and in the case of the UK, where second tier cities lag the whole Northern European continent in education, skills, GDP per capita, and there's not much government interest in a successful skills policy.

Anything good?

What happens when, in these formal democracies, people try to activate the mechanisms of government to stop or reverse the process?

I thought the story of Canada was like the US, largely a similar group of early migrants from the same parts of the UK, then huge population growth among these groups. Not so much with massive ongoing migration from the BI really mattering so much for either, or migration from the US to Canada mattering.

That is, Canada and the US have a similar accent because they derive from the same groups who linguistically branched off from British English around 1600-1700, then with big population growth within Canada and the US.

New Zealand is small, but it's more useful to consider NZ as a state within Australia. The levels of economic integration are exceedingly high in terms of labour mobility, investment and trade. Standards are harmonized across both countries under a common framework. Australia is the largest investor in New Zealand (nearly two-thirds of FDI); New Zealand is Australia's largest source of immigrants; there are no limits on work rights in Australia (and vice versa).

Australia may well be a source of brain-drain for NZ though - for a variety of reasons Australia is very attractive if you are a New Zealander with good labour market chances, and very unattractive if you are a New Zealander with poor labour market chances. Many New Zealanders go to Australia to work, then move back to NZ in their retirement, where their $AUD savings go further.

All this applies to Tasmania even more than it does to NZ.

There is nothing wrong with being the quiet, rural province, full of nice people.

Tasmania has small cities (Hobart and Laurenceton). New Zealand has fine countryside, but it's not particularly rural in its settlement patterns. About 1/3 live in Auckland and another 16% live in Wellington or Christchurch. The small cities like Dunedin take in a single-digit share.


The kind of point the TC is making is that the world is centralising on its big places. Relative to NSW and Victoria, that means NZ is declining in importance. (And it didn't benefit like QLD and WA from the mining boom). But that doesn't mean it is performing badly.

There are three great ANZAC metropoleis: Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne. Anyone from either country can look for work in any of them.

for exactly the reason you point out, NZ is falling behind no more than some Australian states.

Your 1957 World Book Encyclopaedia has a spelling error, Art.

Its Launceston.

"There is nothing wrong with being the quiet, rural province, full of nice people."

Free movement of people makes that business model unsustainable.

Vermont is a quiet, rural province full of nice people and it's entering a demographic death spiral and is slowly trending towards bankruptcy.

Between 2010 and 2030 the number of children (0-19 year olds) and adults (20-64 year olds) will each decline by 15% in absolute terms. The number of seniors (65+) will soar by 83%. The numbers in Maine look even worse.

And by some estimates 90% Tasmanians are either employed directly by government, live on welfare, or work for contractors who largely provide services to government.

Vermont is a quiet, rural province full of nice people and it’s entering a demographic death spiral and is slowly trending towards bankruptcy.

You've confused Vermont (which has average incomes and a stable population) with the Kansas-Nebraska countryside.

And by some estimates 90% Tasmanians are either employed directly by government, live on welfare, or work for contractors who largely provide services to government.

The estimators are likely semi-numerate and never bothered to check actual production statistics.

People moving between Tasmania and mainland Australia don't face different levels of access to transfer payments, or significant differences in purchasing power, among other things.

Excellent comment by Khalil

Not really.

AUS & NZ will never merge-though the idea has been floated before.

Also, he misses that the relativity of migration has inverted:

NZ and Australia don't need to merge because the CER and other such deals already give us all the unity we really need (Europe should take note!). Heck, I would be happy if the Commonwealth of Australia were abolished in favour of a similar web of treaties among the states.

Just as long as the wallabies aren't abolished too.

I second that. The cricket team existed before federation, so no reason to abolish any national sporting teams.

Heck, I would be happy if the Commonwealth of Australia were abolished in favour of a similar web of treaties among the states.

If you say so. The thing is, the majority of your population lives in one of five dense settlements. The current provincial architecture allows the core settlement to demographically dominate every region bar Tasmania and Queensland. You can articulate your states into the core settlement, the countryside, and the desert-wilderness-cum-mining-towns. The thing is, only greater Sydney and greater Melbourne are analogous to any sovereign country who citizens do not have to depend on migration for obtaining certain services. So, your small cities, small towns, and rural zones would have to accept either subjugation by the core city or some larger configuration.

'all the unity we really need'

Given the significant differences in, among other things, the value of transfer payments, there's probably a significant cohort of New Zealanders who would value more unity with Australia.

"Heck, I would be happy if the Commonwealth of Australia were abolished in favour of a similar web of treaties among the states"

Completely wrong.

Get rid of the states. Australia is the most 'over governed' nation on Earth. The states drive increased cost of living, compliance costs nationwide and provide another platform for corruption [ask Mike Baird's developer mates].

Neither NZ nor the UK [population 64M] have them.


"New World Bank research shows women outnumber men for the first time in the global army of highly skilled migrant workers"

When I think of "highly skilled immigrants," I think of computer programmers, scientists, ect. That was a red flag, confirmed by the fact that the number of "highly skilled" immigrant workers in the OECD nations is 28 million. "Highly skilled" is defined by "at least one year of tertiary education." So the people who come in on student visas to some C-tier university, which pretended their high marks from some corrupt third world high school were earned,(universities love international students who pay full price) drop out after one year, and then marry into the local ethnic community to gain citizenship, are "highly skilled" workers. So, too, are those who graduated from the various "universities" of the third world:

"Falling transport costs combined with growing competition for talented workers have seen the ranks of highly skilled immigrant workers living in a group of mostly advanced nations (members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) swell 130% to 28 million over the two decades to 2010, with the number from non-OECD (typically poorer) countries surging 185% to 17.6 million.

The rise has come despite a dramatic fall in the cost of communication, suggesting the salience of other factors such as wage and cultural differences, the demands of multinational companies or the appeal of living close to other talented workers.

“The weight of the evidence points to high-skilled immigrants boosting innovation and productivity—mainly through the increased quantity of skilled individuals pursuing innovative work,” the authors said."

There was also something called the Berlin Wall.

"(...)The number of highly skilled female immigrants in the OECD rose 150% to 14.4 million between 1990 and 2010. “Africa and Asia experienced the largest growth of high-skilled female emigration, indicating the potential role of gender inequalities and labor market challenges in origin countries as push factors,” the study said.

“Losing highly educated, open-minded women is a problem” for these countries,” said World Bank economist Caglar Ozden, one of the authors, in an interview. “Mothers have the most impact on the development of their children, the fertility rate, the level of civility in a society.”"

Thankfully, we in the West have nothing to fear from the fact that our highly educated women don't have many children. Right, WSJ?

And that's with the f-ed up immigration policy the US has. If we had a points system like Canada, the US would probably suck up ALL the most highly skilled immigrants.

Ha HA!

Never been outside the Lower 48, have you?

Toronto is characterless.

It seems to me that the Anglo-American world from 1700 to 1850 was plenty cosmopolitan enough to carry out all the good parts of the Englightenment. So whatever problems are in store for the 21st century, I doubt a lack of cosmopolitanism is one of them.

In other news, the guy who is organising my packing as I move from Germany to Australia is an Englishman who arrived a few months ago specifically because of Brexit. What the left hand giveth, the right taketh away.

Maybe he moved because his services will be less useful in the UK. Fewer people moving away in the near future.

"an Englishman who arrived a few months ago specifically because of Brexit": ah, a remoaner.

yeah its like a natural "mexico wall"... but living conditions, wages, housing, places to hang out, plays a big role too, not just language...maybe for Germany and France your comment is correct, but not nordic countries, Benelux, etc. language is not really such a huge barrier. It keeps the low-skilled immigrants out though....

Hmmm, here in NL, it keeps the low skilled workers away.... if you want to work in construction or for cleaning company you need to know dutch!

This is really part of the long term trend for the whole of humanity to be located in just a few mega cities. There has been a long term trend from the country to urban areas as human society develops and gets more complex and agriculture becomes more efficient. Now there is a trend from smaller cities to larger ones as automation decreases manufacturing employment and services become the only employment sector of any size. Manufacturing gets economies of scale through the physical equipment scale up. Services can only scale by being delivered to more people over time. Scaling and associated specialization is what drives productivity growth, in the sense that the larger the scale of a particular activity the more specialists it can employ and the more improvements they can make. People move to where the most productive jobs are.

Of course the mega cities that win this race are really a little path dependent, having english as the base makes things more attractive, but it's not the only factor. Space to grow must be part of it, which somewhat hampers London and NY. Also related is the nimby factor in these sort of places which makes adding infrastructure like new airports hard. I would expect that over time cities like Houston-Dallas-Austin-San Antonio, and Dubai will become more dominant due to these factors.

I don't know what Tyler means by "long, long time to come". 30 years?

I thought he was talking centuries, as is usual when talking about language evolution.

Greek was a lingua-franca over the eastern mediterranean for over 1000 years, long enough for the original language to not be comprehensible to later speakers. Chinese has done the same trick over a much larger region of time and space.

I expect English to be in the same class longevity-wise. Though whether it comes second or third is not clear.

You could argue that we are very close to real time perfect language translation by computers, knowing languages other than your own will be pretty much wasted effort. And then English will be less important. But I very commonly have a human translator when I travel for business, and it still is a pain to understand what people mean when they are not speaking the same language as yourself.

You mean it's EASY to understand what a native English speaker means? You must not be married.

Sorry Adrian, but the comparison with Greek is not appropriate. Culture and technology changed only slowly back then.

Germany is quite open with language. You can start working in English and learn German on the go.

Germany is certainly more open than France.

France has a handsome language and Germany has a hideous one. There's more incentive for Germans to learn something else.

The moon is more open than France.

A friend lives in Berlin since 2012, works in English and still learning German. Another acquaintance is 50/50 of time between Germany and Mexico due to auto manufacturing. He works in English and learns German slowly. I'll be working in Germany a few weeks by next May, also in English.

In engineering-science environments it's OK not to know today, but you must improve for the future. Problems arise if your colleagues see zero improvement.

Large clusters of unassimilated immigrants won't work in the US (or maybe anywhere) and you can see the expression of this already in the news of the day. "Come to Detroit and build a Muslim ghetto" is not a good idea.

The Scandinavian countries are pretty close to English speaking or at least English proficient.

Tyler mentions China but not India--also a huge Asian country, but having the advantage that English already has a substantial presence there.

Also, India only just barely has a Lingua Franca of its own. And Hindi is not the native language of any of the states of India that are actually any good at anything. And that everyone, in every state, wants their kids to know English anyway.

At least Hindi makes it possible for that Pakistanis to enjoy movies from Maharashtra.

New Zealand has made it self one of the world's affluent countries with just 4 million people. It's out in the middle of the Pacific and belongs to no supernational bodies of much consequence. So, we have to trash it because economists who fancy themselves sociologists are offended by a deficit of cosmopolitanism.

What are you talking about? Economists love New Zealand

In GDP (PPP) per capita terms, Australia is around 30 per cent better off than New Zealand.

NZ is a member of 'Five Power Defence Arrangements', you ninny.

Also, the ANZAC treaty, ANZUS, ANZUK, SEATO.

Read much?

Not only do I read, I know the difference between a contractual agreement between states and a supranational entity.

Unless there's been some major breakthrough recently, I'd say computer translation has a long way to go(last time I used Google Translate, it still seemed to have trouble reordering sentences to make sense in English and to be overly literal in translating idioms). Hell, even the simpler task of transliteration between different writing systems seems to be lacking in readily available tools for automating the process, and this is ignoring that OCR and speech recognition, prerequisites for computer translating physical documents and spoken conversations are also far from perfected. Even text-to-speech software with proper internationalization seems beyond what's currently available(the screen reader I'm using to type this comment can read Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew letters, but it can't string them into words, spelling out text in those character sets. All it gives me for Cyrillic, Chinese, and Japanese text is "Cyrillic letter letter letter" or "Chinese letter letter letter Japanese letter letter letter Chinese letter letter lettter"(as an example of it attempting to read Japanese text including both Kanji and Hiragana). Granted, I'm an English Monoglot and don't get much from my screen reader being able to properly string Latin characters into non-English words, and wouldn't gain much from it being able to properly read non-Latin text, but it would still be nice to not have to listen to a string of foreign text being read character-by-character when Wiki articles refer to things by their original names or go into etymologies that leave the languages that use the Roman Alphabet.

Maybe there's some cost-prohibitive translation program multi-billion dollar corporations can buy to let their US and Japanese branches communicate via e-mail without need of human translation between English and Japanese, but I'd say we're a long way from a Firefox Extension that would let pen pals send e-mails accross a language barrier as easily as sinblings raised in the same household could keep in touch via e-mail, and I'll be lucky to live long enough to hear international phone calls being translated in real time. The day I can hand my talking eReader a Japanese eBook and it shoot back in perfect English will be glorious, but I'm not holding my breath.

Machine translation has been improving steadily since Google Translate. Since I made predictions in 1996 and 2002 and read Japanese, I've been following this closely. Here is a vague summary:

2003: a guy on a Japan forum put up J/E MT and the result was good enough that you could tell the subject was about history with kanji littering the English page.

2006: Google Translate started and a short article was clearly about finance but almost nothing made sense. Yet all those scattered kanji in the English were gone.

2007: GT jumped in quality so that basic fire and earthquake stories made some sense. These were the first news stories I could understand when first studying.

2009: GT had a smaller jump but now more news stories were similar to the most basic fire/earthquake stories. Anything more difficult didn't make sense.

2014: GT could now translate an article on Google Glass from Japanese to English. Still many errors but now a major help for lower end translators in China and India who charge much lower wages.

2015: J/E translators note another jump in GT quality

I'm puzzled by why you guys hate New Zealand. At least once a month I see a post here critical of the Kiwis for something. Why the hatred for New Zealand?

Couldn't get a date out of some girl back in 1984.

In the 1950s and 1960s, New Zealand was considerably richer than the average OECD country. Using 1960 as the baseline, NZ was 30% richer than the average OECD nation and was ranked 5th overall.

Now NZ comes in about 10% below the OECD average.

There's been a slow and steady decline in relative living standards.

The brain drain is real. 23% of Kiwi college grads live somewhere else. The past couple years have been pretty good for New Zealand but that could change. New Zealand's job market is benefitting from a massive stimulus in the form of rebuilding Christchurch. Once that rebuilding ends, we'll probably see a return to the bad old days of mass emigration and relative decline.

Economic stagnation isn't sustainable over the long run because eventually you lose your best and brightest to somewhere more exciting.

So you hate New Zealand because they don't believe in your brand of magic.

I don't hate New Zealand. I'm saying that economic stagnation isn't sustainable.

If New Zealanders were trapped in their homeland, it would be fine if their economy never grew again. They could just bounce around their current living standard and be satisfied.

But there exists a more or less open labor market between New Zealand and Australia.

15% of all Kiwis live in Australia. 22% of them live abroad more generally.

If Australia grows and New Zealand doesn't, the wage differential will become irresistable for the best and brightest.

"In the 1950s and 1960s, New Zealand was considerably richer than the average OECD country. Using 1960 as the baseline, NZ was 30% richer than the average OECD nation and was ranked 5th overall.Now NZ comes in about 10% below the OECD average.There’s been a slow and steady decline in relative living standards."

This isn't correct. GDP/capita has to be measured in purchasing power parity terms (PPP) in international comparisons.

1990 - $24,000 in US dollars; 2015 - $36,000, a little lower than Japan at $38,000 and the UK at $39,000 1970 - NZ at $19,000 UK - $17,000 US - $23,000 (1970 is as far back as the OECD table goes)

The All Blacks. They just freaking never lose.

If only that were so.

GDP per capita is a very blunt & misleading instrument. For a better idea on whether NZ is going backwards or not, I'd suggest the Legatum prosperity index is a much more sophisticated yardstick. NZ rank 4th globally on this:!/

- NZ is one of the few Western economies to be operating with a budget surplus
- NZ has the worlds highest mobile device penetration per capita
- Auckland is ranked the worlds 4th most cosmopolitan city.
- Migration flows between NZ and AU actually have more AUstralians moving to New Zealand than vice versa...
- China, not Australia is NZ's biggest trade partner

I think Tyler's concern about sufficient 'cosmopolitanism' are misplaced. Im my view it is an 'overrated' (™) characteristic. Potentially a virtue, of course, but not so fundamental as D. McCloskey's "bourgeois virtues" that, I would say, still largely/sorta characterise AU society (and NZ, pehaps moreso). Australians long to be "cosmo", But those that claim the badge (parts of Sydney) smell of aspiration and borderline phoniness. As for the ethnic mix: Australia's migration policies (casually misunderstood) are tough at the border but in other respects quite generous (as Canada's & the USA's). This makes us possibly less than cosmopolitan but, I think, happier.

Is it racist to point out that these four have oceans protecting them (mostly) from mass illegal migration? NZ may still still do OK after all.

Thirty years ago we may have puzzled over why South Africa is or is not on such a list.

In the paper cited, the data quoted were from 2010 and earlier. Things have
changed quite a lot since then. The paper talked about innovations and
scientific discoveries, so it is more about scientific rather than
economics outputs. Paper citation rates have inbuilt time lags and the
authors might not be residing in those countries anymore. An alternate
more immediate parameter is to look at the reputable scientific journal
papers outputs. The Nature Journal Publishing House has computed such
parameter called "Weighted Fractional Count" (WFC) of scientific papers,

What we want to look at are the three-years change and the yearly rates of change (since its about
immigrants) and the current scores.

D15_12 D15_14 D14_13 D13_12 WFC2015 Country

-1525.71 -803.37 -604.15 -118.19 17203.82 United States of America (USA)

-389.81 -168.09 -146.47 -75.25 3053.48 Japan

-203.75 -109.71 0.66 -94.7 2127.91 France

-177.85 -72.45 -53.93 -51.47 415.85 Taiwan

-140.1 -44.18 -78.34 -17.58 1055.51 Spain

-71.54 -69.74 31.7 -33.5 1112.49 South Korea

-42.76 -23.67 18.42 -37.51 1478.29 Canada


25.05 0.48 0.05 24.52 82.15 South Africa

37.54 -0.99 3.71 34.82 236.44 Brazil

45.98 21.44 0.75 23.79 98.8 Saudi Arabia

46.77 22.69 -22.88 46.96 4078.09 Germany

52.55 9.89 19.77 22.89 526.67 Sweden

60.65 26.88 -6.0 39.77 237.42 Poland

72.11 -2.34 28.1 46.35 370.39 Russia

87.79 -16.33 24.06 80.06 943.82 Australia

116.81 81.33 7.89 27.59 3365.63 United Kingdom (UK)

168.53 -35.05 85.57 118.01 901.49 India

1967.06 294.98 977.77 694.31 6478.34 China

As can be seen from the data above, for USA things have changed a lot since
2010, though the current score of 17203.82 is still very high and she still
remains at the top of the list. The high yearly rates of change for China,
India and Russia are because of their active efforts in recruiting returnee
scientists, e.g. the result for China

"""The Thousand Talents Programme launched in 2008 has attracted more than
3,300 high-quality professionals from abroad to China’s key areas. …
78 per cent of the (university) presidents, 63 per cent of PhD advisers …
72 per cent of directors of key laboratories are returnees."""

What is interesting is that the sum of the top 5 loses (-2437.22) is roughly
equal to the sum of top 5 gains (2412.3). The resulting reverse musical chairs
ends up with plenty of vacant positions in some countries.

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