Friday, November 21, 2014

Still reading Todd

Still in the early parts of "The causes of progress" by Emmanuel Todd since I could not figure out what he meant by progress. He says that it is cultural/intellectual and economic progress is one aspect of it but only a secondary one. Female literacy seems to be a strong aspect of it. But learning aspect extends to the age of child bearing, and he uses female marriage age as one aspect of literacy in the old days. There are two maps of Europe  on pages 32-33; the first about countries with national product per capita exceeding $10,000 in 1979 and age at marriage of women over 27 around 1840. They are identical. Very intriguing and interesting book so far. It depends on good data and identifying the important factors for progress, whatever it may mean. Somewhere, he says that Kerala should have progressed much faster but is surrounded by backward areas. So, as usual other factors like geography diffusion come in. A review complains that Todd's data about China are disputed. So, some of his analysis would be suspect. Here is one review

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