Wednesday, March 30, 2011

India = Silicon Valley + Africa ?

A few hundred million (relatively) affluent middle class knowledge workers surrounded by almost a billion slumdogs is not a desirable development outcome. It may in fact be unstable (see below).

The only way I know of to raise the standard of living of a billion people is through the well-traveled (but dirty and energy intensive) path of industrialization and manufacturing. That is how the West, Japan, and Asian Tigers did it, and what China is doing now. Software parks and call centers are wonderful gleaming instantiations of modernity, but only a small fraction of the population in India have the cognitive ability to write code or deliver complex services in English. India optimists are only thinking about the elite minority -- what about the rest of the population?

We have yet to discover a scalable leapfrog to modernity that avoids heavy lifting in favor of bits.

See previous India posts, like Slumdog brainpower.

WSJ: ... Ravi Venkatesan, until this week chairman of Microsoft Corp.'s India arm, says his nation is at a crossroads. "We could end up with a rather unstable society, as aspirations are increasing and those left behind are no longer content to live out their lives. You already see anger and expressions of it," he says. "I strongly have a sense we're at a tipping point: There is incredible opportunity but also dark forces. What we do as an elite and as a country in the next couple of years will be very decisive."

... "What has globalization and industrialization done for India?" asks Mr. Venkatesan, Microsoft's former India chairman. "About 400 million people have seen benefits, and 800 million haven't."

Calorie consumption by the bottom 50% of the population has been declining since 1987, according to the 2009-10 economic survey conducted by India's Ministry of Finance, even as those at the top of society struggle with rising obesity. Mainly because of malnutrition, around 46% of children younger than 3 years old are too small for their age, according to UNICEF.

Infrastructure in cities and the countryside remains woefully inadequate: In recent years, China has added, on average, more than 10 times as much power as India to its electricity grid each year.

Data from McKinsey & Co. show that the number of households in the highest-earning income bracket, making more than $34,000 a year, has risen to 2.5 million, from 1 million in 2005. But the ranks of those at the bottom, making less than $3,000 a year, also have grown, to 111 million, from 101 million in 2005.

[Can these figures be correct? There are probably > 2.5 million households in Taiwan making over $34k a year!]

... India's modernization was expected to prompt a mass movement of workers from farms to factory floors—a critical component in the transformation of China, South Korea and other Asian nations. But manufacturing as a share of India's economy stood at 16% in 2009, the same as in 1991, according to the World Bank.

Services have increased dramatically as a proportion of gross domestic product, rising to 55% in 2009, from 45% in 1991, according to the World Bank, becoming the chief engine of India's economic strength. But many of the fastest-growing areas, such as finance and technology, employ relatively few and rely heavily on skilled employees. The entire software and technology-services sector, including call centers and outsourcing, directly employs just 2.5 million workers, a tiny fraction of the overall work force.

See also the interview below.

WSJ: Vineet Nayar, chief executive of software exporter HCL Technologies, dismisses complaints about corruption in India as a distraction, arguing that the real question the country needs to ask is whether it is becoming more or less globally competitive.

“Was India more globally competitive in 1990 or in 2005, or will it be more competitive in 2015?” questions Mr. Nayar. “Are the [current and future] policies of the government more populist or will they make India more competitive in the global arena?”

In a world where consumption patterns in the U.S. and Europe are at an all time low, even as they continue to hit new peaks in emerging markets, and where power bases are shifting from the West to emerging markets like China, Brazil and India, “country competitiveness is very important because you can either be used like China is using India for consumption [of Chinese exports],” says Mr. Nayar. Or you can become an exporter yourself.

And in his opinion, India is at that cusp today: Will it be used for its billion people or will it use its billion people?

“And there, unfortunately, my answer is that we are becoming less competitive with every passing day because of lack of investment in critical segments like skill development,” he said.

... “The only real raw material we have is people,” he went on. “If you convert people into consumers, we’ll become Africa. If you convert people into labor productivity, we’ll become America. We are at a cusp between America and Africa right now.”


John said...

I had always wondered when the music is going to stop. It seems IT and high tech, while a small portion of the GDP and employment, were contributing disproportionally to the GDP growth. This is not sustainable. In other developing countries like China, the cognitive elite, instead of being just another high tech slave labor for the West, are taking up leadership positions in the new companies. They are the ones that drive all parts of the economy forward.

Another thing that could be an issue in the coming decades for India is the dysgenic trend. In a poor country like India, the poor have bad infant mortality rates. As the country gets wealthier, the infant mortality rate should decrease for the poor. In the mean time, the rich follow the trend of the other knnowledge based workers of high investment and fewer kids. As a result, most or all the "population dividend" happens in the low end of the cognitive spectrum. In the U.S. or even China, infant mortality rate (or the survival of young kids) have long ceased to be a factor.

anon said...

Representative democracy is the ultimate enabler of plutocracy. That's historically been a big problem for India, and continues to be so.

steve hsu said...

China's development is broad based and real. They have capabilities across a range of technologies and industries, and have first rate infrastructure in many places. If the rest of the world vanished (with the exception of oil producing states!) China could maintain a modern level of development using just its domestic industry and technology. There's not much they can't do at this point, from chips to software to airplanes to cars to nuclear power to satellites and space launch. I think India is on the other end of the spectrum - very unbalanced.

There are perhaps more prominent Indians in the west than Chinese, but two key drivers of this are the use of English by the elite in India and the fact that the Chinese economy can utilize so many more talented people at home than India can. 100+ billionaires in China, all created just in the last 20 years or so (albeit many made their fortunes through corrupt practices).

Jorg_Haider said...

instantiations of modernity

Ching, chong, ping, pong, ling, long!

Jorg_Haider said...

but only a small fraction of the population in India have the cognitive ability to write code

Unrike Chiner where all dee people have dee cognitive abirity.

Ching, chong, ling, long, ping, pong!

steve hsu said...

Anon, are you off your meds again? Why the bipolar behavior -- contrite one moment, then suddenly so aggressive? If you want to be blocked from commenting, just say so.

steve hsu said...

I think you misunderstood my point -- there is no place where more than a small fraction of the population can write code. That's why you need stuff like manufacturing.

John said...

Yes, I concur with your assessment. If you look at China, they are the only country that come up with their version of Amazon, google etc (granted, there is government involvement here, but I don't think we can under estimate the challanges of an underdog winning the market share from the dominant player like Google. The government did not put a gun on people's head and say use this search engine) This has happened not only in the above named industry, but across the entire breadth of the economy. Textile, auto, machinary, Bullet train, construction, telecom, etc, they start with foreign technology(some would argue stolen) and quickly become worthy competitor in their own right. India, on the other hand, inspite of software being a very promiment industry, have not been able to create their own software products in a demestic company. While there are many software products that are made using Indian labor, Not much was created by an Indian company based in India. There are certainly cases where Indians have come to the U.S. and created products. Something about that country that limit the success of her citizens. It is a shame because they have a lot of talented people.

Hans_Blix said...

Steve is a bad man, a wary, wary bad man.

Strange that those same feeble minded Indians outperform Chinese Americans at...everything.

You're bustin' my bawrs Hans you're bustin' my bawrs.

Abcd said...

India might see some assortative mating (beyond what the caste system guarantees) due to the concentration of above-average IQ labor in certain geographical locations. So, there is some chance that the cognitive elite in India will see its numbers swell over the next few years, but dysgenic trends are fairly strong from what I understand, so India's average IQ may plummet even further.

Abcd said...

While Indian-Americans are doubtless of above average intelligence as a population, I doubt whether they outperform Chinese Americans at anything related to Science/Engineering/Math.

Lol said...

LOL. Wut?

Congratulations to our team members and outstanding individuals in this year's Putnam Competition. Our team placed third (congratulations to Caltech and MIT this year), and we had outstanding individual results, with four students placed in the top 15.

The top five teams were:
UC Berkeley
U Waterloo

Please congratulate our team members, Kevin Lee, Arnav Tripathy and Alex Zhai. Each receives $600. Congratulations to Alex Zhai for being a Putnam Fellow (a top-five finisher, which carries an award of $2,500). Congratulations to Iurie Boreico, Eric Larson and Arnav Tripathy for being among the next ten highest ranking individuals (for a prize of $1000), and congratulations to Sherry Gong for an honorable mention.

Top 5: Deng, Lawrence, Lee, Sandon, Zhao

Abcd said...

It's interesting to see Evan O'Dorney's (relatively) mediocre performance after his IMO gold medal. Can anyone clarify what differences there are between the IMO and the Putnam in terms of the types of questions one sees?

steve hsu said...

This was analyzed in an AMS article I linked to (search under putnam on the blog). Many IMO kids from other countries come to the US or to Canada for higher ed, so that (these days) the Putnam ends up pitting a lot of gold medalists against each other every year. When you see a kid with a PRC name at an obscure university, who nevertheless scored high on the Putnam, you will often find he is from China where he probably did well in their national competitions (maybe even was on the national or provincial team) before coming here. I bet a lot of the Korean and Eastern European names on the list are similar stories. (Actually many schools now recruit top IMO, IPhO, etc. performers from abroad with scholarships. I even made that a positive criteria for the scholarship I endowed at Caltech in my father's name.)

It's also true that some kids who were big HS competitors don't want to invest the same level of energy in the Putnam while in college. One IMO gold medalist I know who went to Caltech told me that his "problemist ability" (as I refer to it) only gave him a 1 SD advantage over the other kids in (the relatively hard) classes they had to take. So even these guys have to work in college (at least at certain places in certain majors) and may not have as much time to prepare. At Caltech prep for the Putnam was very casual. There was usually just one meeting, usually led by a superstar problemist. In my day it was Barry Simon, who claimed to have earned (at that time) the only perfect score.

Abcd said...

"Furthermore, education and income statistics are also for the Chinese and Indian American populations as a whole. When examining recent high school cohorts, one usually finds that Chinese Americans perform better than Indian Americans on things such as the IMO or the IPhO, though there does seem to be a fairly similar degree of over-representation of both Chinese and Indians on the Intel Science Talent Search. Indian Americans though clearly outperform Chinese Americans on the spelling bee."

Interesting! I've always wondered why Chinese-Americans, who are so exceptionally overrepresented on the extreme right-tail of the IQ distribution, seem not to punch above their IQ-adjusted weight in terms of research. Anecdotally, I was taught a course by an extremely talented Chinese-American IMO gold medalist whose research output, though, wasn't quite as stellar as an IMO gold might indicate. Non-Jewish, white-Americans (and to a lesser extent Indian-Americans), OTOH, are quite dull in comparison to Chinese-Americans when it comes to contest Math, yet they do somewhat better than expected when it comes to research Math. Does Steve has any idea what might be behind this?

Abcd said...

Yep, makes perfect sense.

Abcd said...

No perfect score in the Putnam till 1987.

steve hsu said...

He claimed that he had lost points on one problem, but that it was a mistake in grading and in fact his solution was perfect. You can take it up with him... :-)

steve hsu said...

It could be lots of things. Drive, ambition, willingness to be a maverick, etc.

Finding the correct solution when you know one exists is not the same thing as actual research, in which sometimes posing the right question is more important.

Hmm... was your professor named Lenny?

Abcd said...

Ng? Nope :) Said professor was born in China and is now an American citizen. I should have been more specific.

Yan Shen said...

There was a perfect score this year on the Putnam. I believe that makes it the 4th time in the history of the competition that someone has obtained a perfect score. I wonder which one of the 5 Putnam Fellows it was who got the perfect score this year.

By the way, are you still busy reading all of the filth in the HBD blogosphere? ;)

RKU said...

When I read the same WSJ article this morning, I really found the whole thing absolutely stunning.

Not the details about India's major developmental problems and likely economic "feet of clay", which have been pretty obvious to me for as many years as I can remember, but the single nugget that actual caloric consumption by the (already malnourished) lower 50% of the national population has been in steady decline for almost the last quarter-century, which I'd never imagined. And I don't recall that sort of grim detail ever appearing in any of the 100s of articles about India's economic situation I've read over the last few decades in the NYT, WSJ, and all the other mainstream sources. Now it's one thing if the lower half of the Indian population has been getting richer at a much slower rate than the upper half, but another thing entirely if India's "economic miracle" has been leaving them steadily poorer and hungrier. Presumably, Thomas Friedman had never been aware of that detail either...

And regarding one of the underlying factors, I've always thought that India was almost a textbook-perfect case of a country likely to have a (very highly) multimodal distribution of all sorts of abilities and talents. After all, we're talking about dozens or even hundreds of castes and sub-castes which have largely been endogamous for many centuries and are each subject to very different sorts of selective pressures. In many respects, India and China are the polar-opposites in this regard, and the same is true for social organization as well. I've always found it quite amusing that all those clueless neoliberal NYT columnists and WSJ pundits tended to pair the two countries and not seem to remotely comprehend the crucial differences.

And that even applies to some HBD-people who really should know better. For example, I remember a few months back Steve Sailer had a big posting discussing the future "contest for world supremacy" between China and India, and argued that the latter probably had the edge. Ha, ha, ha!---given that India is so much poorer and more backward in nearly all respects than Mexico, perhaps our own southern neighbor will become the future world hegemon, with its only real rival being mighty Nigeria...

steve hsu said...

The wild card is of course the possibility of social upheaval in China, but this seems relatively unlikely to me. The articles I quote from in the post make it seem like social unrest is actually a possibility in India.

Yan Shen said...

I suspect that Sailer is loathe to give the edge to China because he fundamentally considers Indians to be racially white/Caucasoid. He's explicitly argued in some of his posts/articles that Indian Americans should be reclassified as whites, rather than Asians. I've noticed that this sentiment is actually not too uncommon in the HBD blogosphere, i.e. some people are reluctant to favor China over India because they consider Indians to be racially white/Caucasoid.

JLOV said...

Sailer wants to have Indians reclassified as Caucasians because he wants to end minority preferences: He also wants the Hispanic ethnic category officially discontinued for the same reason. I don't think this is due to some racial favoritism for South Asians, or animus against East Asians on Sailer's part. Rather, it's well in line with what he calls citizenism.

KenC said...

"My understanding of Indian racial dynamics is that India is vastly multiracial with a minority of elite upper caste groups with exceedingly high average IQs and large numbers of lower caste groups with relatively low average IQs...But, if there truly are huge differences in cognitive ability amongst the various castes in India, and if only a minority of upper caste elite have high average IQs... Are the disparities within India that one often reads about today the result of this underlying reality? I don't know."

And that is the ultimate question Steve seems to be asking in many of the topics and ideas he discusses on this blog. Is it nature or nurture? India with it's caste system still intact seems to be a living case study of this but separating the nature from the nurture could prove problematic. Many thinking people wonder about this but it is still a forbidden topic to "discuss" in polite company. Or PC company that is. But there is a reason--and that is obvious.

Not to mention athleticism, musicality, body types......slippery slopes.

Uiou said...

They form more technology startups, which is not trivial.

Indian Americans are kind of like Jews in that they have high math and verbal. Chinese and Korean Americans have even higher math and reasonably good verbal, but are not as good at politics, sales, or fundraising. Obviously both groups have many talented individuals and work well together in Silicon Valley, and these are just generalizations. Steve Hsu is a startup guy and could probably give his impressions on this.

Hans_Brix said...

Compare the 112 average for Indian Americans to the 82 average provided by Richard Lynn in IQ and Global Inequality and you begin to get a sense for the perhaps complicated racial dynamics within India.

Only a mouth breather who has sex with animals like Richard Lynn could begin to get any sense from that.

China also produces a lot more Olympic athletes. Wait "a lot more", should have been "some", because India produces none.

Yan Shen shows himself once again to be a typical Chinese racist.

RKU said...

I also tend to doubt that people are breaking out their "EGI-calculators" and working out their relatedness coefficients relative to the two groups. In fact, when I browse around the chatter on the rightwing/white-wing blogosphere it seems to me that there's vastly more hostility toward South Asians in America than East Asians, despite the much larger numbers of the latter. The usual complaints are clannishness and unfair H1-B job competition in the tech sector, plus some spillover anger from outsourcing. The only real complaint I see floating around about East Asians is that they study too hard and win too many math competitions...

Obviously, this pattern can be broken in those cases in which particular individuals---ha, ha!---get involved in ethnic flame-wars...

Yan Shen said...

The only real complaint I see floating around about East Asians is that they study too hard and win too many math competitions...

You probably missed the comments on iSteve and Mangan's which referred to me with ethnic slurs and also advocated for violence against Chinese. Perhaps abcd can dig those up for us, since he seems to be obsessed with what I post on various HBD blogs.

I've noticed the opposite, that there's more hostility directed towards East Asians as opposed to South Asians. I will concede two points though. First, there is a lot of gripping about Indian H1-B visas. Second, anti-Semitic sentiments are much stronger on blogs like iSteve than anti-East Asian sentiments. This would be a clear violation of my claim that the more Caucasoid of the two groups receives better treatment.

Regarding the aforementioned individual, Mr. SS, it's almost certain that in his specific case, his opinions of South Asians versus East Asians are motivated by his racial ideology. As you say, it's hard to fathom how someone so single-minded in his devotion to HBD could botch the comparison between China and India. But as stated before, Mr. SS's Jewish obsession does seem to violate the rule stated above, so exceptions do exist.

John said...

I remember that piece from Steve Sailer. I don't think that he was comparing the country India versus China and saying India comes out ahead. I think he was talking about Indian (and Indian Americans) influence on the U.S. versus Chinese (and Chinese Americans) influence on the U.S. On this count, I think while the future is still yet to be written, it is not out of the realm of possibilities. If you look at how long the Chinese have been part of the U.S. and how far they got in politics compared to how recently the Indians have arrived and how far they got in politics, one can see the future where the Indians would have more influence over this country compared to the Chinese.

steve hsu said...

A couple of comments, based on personal experience only.

1. You find more aggressive or fake salesy types among the S. Asians. There is even a stereotype among E. Asians (from Asia, even in my father's generation) that many S. Asians are big talkers that sometimes don't back it up. In Confucian culture, this is considered very bad. Traditional E. Asians are more "under promise -- over deliver" types.

2. It's harder to operate in the aggressive or salesy mode if your English is not good. There are plenty of those types in, e.g., China, but they operate in Mandarin. When you make your generalizations I believe you are including recent immigrants (as opposed to strictly S. and E. Asians raised in the US) in the discussion. That heavily biases things toward Indians as their elites have been using English all through school (legacy of British colonial experience). There are very few recent immigrants from E. Asia who can operate in English at a high level. Ever look at the number of cognates between Hindi and English (two Indo-European languages)? It is extremely hard for, say, a native Korean speaker to learn English late in life, or to ever become fully fluent.

3. Almost all of the E. Asians raised in the US come from immigrant families where the parents' English is not good (even, I would bet, Amy Chua's dad the Berkeley EE prof. spoke accented and occasionally grammatically incorrect English). This definitely affects V scores, although I would bet more of the differences between (US raised) E. and S. Asians is due to culture or personality.

4. As anon (our favorite commenter with so many pseudonyms) likes to point out, what works in one place (loud superficial guy is seen as "natural leader" or CEO material or even better Ivy material) may not play in other cultures or contexts. Would our society work better overall if individual personalities (which are partially genetically determined and may, on average, vary between groups) or culture were such that quiet consensus builders were seen as leaders as opposed to loud braggarts?

Hans_Brix said...

could botch the comparison between China and India

What was China like just 25 years ago when its top exports to the US were gasoline and fireworks?

The Indians do have one big cultural disadvantage. They aren't materialistic. They are religious.

Doesn't India also lead China in the production of pharmaceuticals? Would Americans take pills made in China if they knew? No!

RKU said...

Yes, this is very similar to my own perspective.

RKU said...

Perhaps I misremembered the Sailer argument a little. If he was indeed talking about e.g. gaining political influence in the U.S., it's very possible, since I think South Asians here tend to be much stronger in the verbal, wheeler-dealer, and social networking factors very crucial to American politics, both for cultural and perhaps other reasons. These factors also tend to be important in rising up today's corporate hierarchies, and you tend to see many more South Asians reach CEO or near-CEO level at major non-South Asian companies. Middle-Easterners are also very strong at this sort of thing.

botti said...

***India optimists are only thinking about the elite minority -- what about the rest of the population? ***

If India win the cricket World Cup, they will be happy :-) Actually, a lot of people should be as this model has promised to strip if India win.

“I’m confident of my body and I’m doing this to excite our boys to play better.”

Abcd said...

LOL! This is amusing because it is so true, and nobody really says this in polite company.

Abcd said...

"Regarding the aforementioned individual, Mr. SS, it's almost certain that in his specific case, his opinions of South Asians versus East Asians are motivated by his racial ideology."

The subtext behind all the griping is really about East Asians being demonstrably more intelligent than non-Jewish whites, something that's hard for most people to get used to. East Asians are competition and evoke fear, South Asians aren't and evoke pity/revulsion (depending on where you fall within the political spectrum). China is an intellectual and technological powerhouse embracing modernity whereas India is the land of darkness, abject poverty, disease, and starvation. That's really all there is to it.

Abcd said...

"Perhaps abcd can dig those up for us, since he seems to be obsessed with what I post on various HBD blogs."

If you state explicitly that your views are similar to those of people commenting on the aforesaid blogs, I'll not bother to call you out on what I see as prejudice couched in holier-than-thou terms when you post on Dr. Hsu's blog.

Yan Shen said...

Alas my views are far different! I'm really not obsessed with race, like most people in the HBD blogosphere. I've defended blacks and Jews from criticism, i.e when I called out Sailer for referring to blacks and Jews as the reigning heavyweights of competitive aggrievement. I've defended whites against blacks and Hispanics in the affirmative action debate. I've been outspoken against the rabid anti-Semitism in the HBD blogosphere. I recently called out Cornelius Troost on Mangan's blog for his explicitly negative views towards African Americans. Troost for instance, repeatedly downplays the phenomenon of Eastern European violence, while being obsessed with black crime.

Now, you won't find a more principled man than myself. Truly, I'm one of the few people who isn't obsessed first and foremost with what's good for his tribe. Of course, I do find it hypocritical that Asian Americans seem to be treated differently in this country than blacks, Jews, Hispanics, etc, and I've made my feelings on that issue be known accordingly. What I desire the most for America is the idea of a proposition nation where each and every single one of us is evaluated not on the basis of our gender or race or creed, but rather on the merits of our personal accomplishments. Now, how anyone could draw an equivalence between myself and the riff-raff that populate many HBD blogs is beyond me.

Now, as far as I can tell, your primary beef with me is that I seem to be somewhat sympathetic towards some of William Shockley's views on eugenics. Too bad. I don't make any apologizes for what I believe in. In any case, take comfort in the fact that the possibility of anything like that happening in the US is somewhere close to 0. Maybe knowing that there's zero chance of William Shockley's policies actually being enforced today is part of what motivates me to vent in the abstract. Who knows, if the opportunity to implement such social policy ever arose in reality, I just might get cold feet. ;)

Abcd said...

"Now, how anyone could draw an equivalence between myself and the riff-raff that populate many HBD blogs is beyond me."

You answered that question in the very next line with this:

"Now, as far as I can tell, your primary beef with me is that I seem to be somewhat sympathetic towards some of William Shockley's views on eugenics."

"Too bad. I don't make any apologizes for what I believe in."

Likewise, I can't apologize for finding some of your views fairly abhorrent.

Abcd said...

Yeah, I do know that you're not a supporter of state coercion in this regard.

Also, while I can wholly appreciate a difference in perspectives between me and a Chinese person in China, the cultural difference explanation doesn't work when it comes to Chinese-Americans like you (corroborated by my experience in discussing such matters with Chinese-American friends who share very American attitudes on this like eugenics).

JLOV said...

This is probably the Sailer article in question: . He is talking more about the influence of East vs. South Asians in the West rather than about India and China per se.

Hans_Brix said...

An good example of how much more physically attractive Indians are compared to Chinese.

There isn't a singre woman in arr of Chiner as beutifur as her.

Contemplationist said...

Well of course!

I find discussions and posts such as the above quite exhausting as they mostly pretend everything is due to inherent genetic or cultural traits
whereas there is so much left to do in regards to economic liberalization. It's like opining on China of Mao in the 70s and deciding that Chinese culture
breeds poverty etc. It MIGHT, but you can't conclude that without first seeing the effects of economic liberalization.

The problem here is that the manufacturing sector, labor laws, agricultural regulations, property rights, foreign investment regulations and educational institutions
are absolutely atrocious and stuck in 1960s Indian socialism.

-- Farmers can't sell their land for non-farm uses.
-- People only rent thru social networks as they can't trust complete strangers to not squat. Getting a squatter off one's property can take decades of legal wrangling
-- Farmers can only sell to corporatist cartels called "State Agricultural Committees." i.e. there is no open market. A farmer can't just bring his produce to market.
-- Labor laws enact a very steep marginal tax rate on expansion above 100 employees. As soon as a firm hits 100 employees, in some states, firing any employee requires
"permission" from the State government. This keeps large scale manufacturing outfits out.
-- Foreign direct investment is severely limited in many sectors still, especially agriculture and property.
-- Foreign investment is totally prohibited in education. Cornell wanted to open an Indian campus, was denied. So with a few other decent universities.
Schools are prohibited from being run for profit. The licensing commissions need to be bribed millions for the ability to open one school.
-- Judicial wrangling is exhausting and will crush your life. A simple property dispute can take years or decades. My own family's wrangling with a squatter took 14 years
for the court to resolve.

There are myriad of other simple institutional and rule problems. Once we get rid of those, we can talk about the inherent cultural or genetic limitation of Indians
more confidently. Till then, I would hold my tongue

AG said...

"1. Aggressive or glib salesy types are more common among the S. Asians. There is even a stereotype among E. Asians (from Asia, even in my father's generation) that S. Asians can be big talkers who don't back it up. In Confucian culture, this is considered very bad. Traditional E. Asians are more "under promise -- over deliver" types."

Having personally traveled both in China and India, my observation is very consistent with your statement here. And following link about trust also in line with such observation. You just can not trust any thing promised in India.

Chinese also have very long term memory about `bad' incidence. In another word, they are not type of people who forget and forgive. Any breaching of trust will result in life long problem for any individual in that society.

Also, IQ or education seems correlated with trust also. Lack of ability to figure out truth or fraud can make people blindly not trusting any thing. Lack of long term memory will also make individual of fraud get away from life time punishment.

Hans_Brix said...

I find discussions and posts such as the above quite exhausting as they mostly pretend everything is due to inherent genetic or cultural traits

They are exhausting, but I have fun posting comments here. They make me laugh.

Imagine what the Romans and Greeks would have said about the Germans if they'd thought up all the IQ jive. Now what do the Germans say about the Greeks and the Italians?!

My own limited and subjective experience with Indians and Chinese Americans is that Indians are smarter. Is there a Chinese Jay Chandrasekhar? No. Could there ever be?

Hans_Brix said...

Steve misses THE most OBVIOUS reason.

White Americans have a much greater affinity for Indians and vice versa. Though they will deny it, even the most liberal hippe douche can't get over the appearance of orientals and their much more alien culture.

Of course looking at the history of letters in China and India it is clear to all who can see that the Indians have an ability the Chinese don't have, that the Greeks also had. Steve calls it glibness. I call it the ability to think verbally. Don't Japanese adults read comic books?

No, rook. I can do dee rubic's cube in onry 15 seconds.

That's great Mr. Chen.

Yes I can sit in the cubicre and do dee rubic's cube arr day.

John said...

Agree that there is a lot of gains to be made by changing the dysfunctional institutions. On the other hand, low functioning countries like Haiti is not plagued just with low genetic potential, but also dysfunctional government. It seems there is a strong correlation. It seems democracy in these cases have a tendency of allowing the status quo to continue. Of course there are states inside India that seems to do better, so perhapse there is hope that she could continue to move in the right direction.

On a brighter note, today's Wall Street Journal gave one bit of statistic that is cheerful. The literacy rate for India has climbed from 65% to 74%. If you think about the older population that probably did not change much in literacy rate, the changes to the school age population would likely be even more dramatic.

IQ test said...

That is why IQ test was invented in the first place. An idiot will never be able to appreciate the smartness of Einstein. Just base on subjective impression, non-all those IMO winners looks smart.

AG said...

Some of the comments reveal childish mindset of commentators. Allowing such kind of comments is really deteriorating quality of this blog. Moderation might be good idea to keep quality.

AG said...

Regarding Steve Sailer's opinion of India vs China, he had made it clear long time agon at following debate.

It is long way to go for Indian to shedd their servility mindset toward their Western colonial masters when they are happy simply because Westerners like them more than Chinese.

Inspector_Sidney_Wang said...

what works in one prace (roud superficiar guy is seen as "naturar reader" or CEO materiar, or even superior Ivy materiar) may not pray in ozer curtures or contexts

Ah so. Dis anon soun' li' very crever ferrow.

I wonder if i' ha' ever occurred to you that maybe "what prays" might be measure jus' li' IQ is measure. But den li' crever anon say: IQ would jus' be a rank of fitness for a particurar society.

Hmmm, verrrrry interesting.

anon said...

It's well known that many Hindu nationalists have fragile egos and inadequacy complexes. This post and many of its comments will likely set some of them off.

Inspector_Sidney_Wang said...

The whole of the former Raj has one more Nobel in science than China.

anon said...

That will likely not appease Hindu nationalist since they are by definition, nationalists (their concerns are ethnic and racial with a group of people). Thus they will look at the number of Chinese who have won vs the number of Hindus as more appropriate and that may cause some consternation.

Inspector_Sidney_Wang said...

Why hasn't anyone mentioned the dependency ratio?

Gjjj said...

The limiting factor in building something consumer web startups like google, facebook, or amazon is not the technological challenge but rather gaining traction.

Indians browse the internet in English so minimal internationalization is required in many cases. Internationalization is usually not a high priority for most startups so its easy for Chinese versions of the startups to become successful and get traction.

Robin Li's achievements with Baidu shouldn't be discounted, they company clearly has some very competent management to survive against google.

India does have a lot of its own software in areas where it makes sense. eg,

steve hsu said...

Please read more carefully. I wrote "could maintain A modern level of development" not the SAME level of development. I agree with your point, but it doesn't contradict what I wrote. Of course no country has world class capability in every single area (well, maybe the US does, almost). But there is a qualitative difference between a country that has strong capability in most categories and one which is only capable in a few areas.

I repudiate the nutty Chinese nationalists who sometimes comment on the internet. Does that make you happier? The Confucians who under-promise and over-deliver are, as I wrote, the traditionalists, which not everyone is.

AshokAshok said...

One of the reasons for your subjective experience may be the difference in English language skills. An person with better communication skills may appear to be smarter than he actually is.

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