Economic growth and the private sector31 January, 2013 at 07:28 | Posted in Economics | 6 Comments
Economic growth has since long interested economists. Not least, the question of which factors are behind high growth rates has been in focus. The factors usually pointed at are mainly economic, social and political variables. In an interesting study from the University of Helsinki, Tatu Westling has expanded the potential causal variables to also include biological and sexual variables. In the report Male Organ and Economic Growth: Does Size Matter (2011), he has – based on the ”cross-country” data of Mankiw et al (1992) and Summers and Heston (1988) famous , Polity IV Project data of political regime types and a new data on average penis size in 76 non-oil producing countries (www.everyoneweb.com/worldpenissize) – been able to show that the level and growth of GDP per capita between 1960 and 1985 varies with penis size. Replicating Westling’s study (I have used my favourite program, Gretl) we obtain the following two charts:
The Solow-based model estimates show that the maximum GDP is achieved with the penis of about 13.5 cm and that the male reproductive organ (OLS without control variables) are negatively correlated with – and able to “explain” 20% of the variation in – GDP growth.
Even with reservation for problems such as “endogeneity” and “confounders” one can not but agree with Westling’s final assessment that “the ‘male organ hypothesis’ is worth pursuing in future research” and that it “clearly seems that the ‘private sector’ deserves more credit for economic development than option is typically acknowledged.” Or?