10 Countries Do Not Have 90% of World GDP


Ryan Noonan

Ryan Noonan is an economist with a small federal agency. Fields in which he considers himself reasonably well-informed: literature, college athletics, video games, food and beverage, the Supreme Court. Fields in which he considers himself an expert: none. He can be found on the Twitter or reached by email.

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48 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    How many countries does it take to get to 90% of the world’s GDP?Report

  2. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    As a guy who’s not fully up to sped on international economicy thingies, I have to ask – how do you measure countries comparative wealth? How much is based on comparative GDP, gold reserves, available natural resources, human capital, etc.?Report

  3. Avatar Scott says:

    Apparently western countries have too much stuff already according to this UN flunky. UN Official: Western Nations ‘Don’t Need More Cars, More TV’


    • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Scott says:

      Helen Clark is the ex-PM of NZ, and was unemployable there. We can only hope she can do for the UN what she did for her Labour Party.


      • Avatar James K in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        I’m not a big fan of Clark, but I should point out that she managed to unify the New Zealand Labour party for more than a decade, which implies no small degree of political skill.

        Also, based on the article Scott linked, I’m not so sure she’s saying “rich countries should be poorer”. It sounds more like she’s saying that “economic growth is more important for poor countries than for rich ones”, which I don’t find especially objectionable.Report

        • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to James K says:

          Yeah, your read seems right to me. She certainly isn’t saying the West should give up its cars and TVs.

          It’s especially odd to see this complaint from conservatives, who constantly assure us that the poor don’t have it so bad in the USA. And I don’t say this to poke fun; as Jason pointed out in a couple recent posts, they’re not wrong! The American poor, even if I think they should be still better off, are waaaaay richer than most of the rest of the world’s (and history’s!) poor.Report

        • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to James K says:

          I was having a little fun with Helen Clark, JamesK, but she did ride some good times while in office, even her own party doesn’t speak well of her now she’s gone, Labour now slurps hind teat, and she has become an expatriate UN scold, no doubt with a sweet salary, hi-rise NY apt and limo service.

          Were she to have stayed in Mother NZ, she’d actually be working for a living and shlepping her own groceries from the boot to the elevator, if she had either one. You people are not big on parasites, which is why you’re so cool.Report

  4. Avatar Michael says:

    Has anyone considered the X-axis and the jump in years? Yikes.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Michael says:

      Yeah, that’s not good graph design.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Michael says:

      I don’t really see a problem with that. A logarithmic scale on the x-axis is fine for many long-term historical data series where changes are much more rapid in modern times than in the past. This isn’t really a proper logarithmic scale, but it’s close enough, and gets the point across.Report

      • As veteran players of the Civilization games know, industrialization dramatically shifts up the delta on productivity, so the very nice graphs you get at the end of the game compress the objective “time” significantly to increase the historical verisimlitude (in part because productivity gains within the game itself are closer to linear if all game turns are considered equal spans of time).

        So maybe the X-axis time compression here is intended to reflect reality mirrored through gaming attempting to mirror reality.Report

    • Avatar Ryan Noonan in reply to Michael says:

      I’m with Brandon here. I actually think the x-axis is making a decent point, which is that the notion of productivity (and productivity gains) is a verrrrrry modern thing.Report

      • Avatar Michael in reply to Ryan Noonan says:

        Understandably. However, if you take a 100 year gap – as the map does a few times – from 1900 to 2000, then all of the points look unmoved, despite huge gains and losses within that time. Who is to say that the economy did not twist, turn, and topple over itself in the 1000 year gap from the 0 point and the 1000 point?

        Perhaps I am being nit-picky, but it is just poor chart design (among the several other flaws pointed out in the article).Report