Friday, January 26, 2007

Breaking Down GDP Growth

This article in The Economist this week discusses the high GDP growth rates of India and China. They argue that China's growth is more impressive because it is due to greater increases in productivity, while India's GDP growth is due more to increased employment levels without those workers becoming more productive. Therefore, since China's growth is more associated with productivity increases, it is more likley to sustain itself.

The article also discusses how the growth in each country has been in different sectors:
According to conventional wisdom, Chinese workers have shifted largely from farming to factories, whereas India's growth has been driven largely by services, from call centres to writing software. In fact, jobs in services have expanded more strongly in China than in India. Since 1993 the rate of increase of China's service-sector jobs has been four times that in industrial jobs and has exceeded that in India. China's real output of services has not only grown almost as fast as its industrial output, but also faster than India's services. Indeed, a larger proportion of workers is employed in services in China than in India. However, the share of services in GDP is much smaller in China (33%, against India's 50%), because Chinese industry is so much more productive.
This article provides a deeper look at increases in GDP and a little background on the rapid growth of India and China.


According to this article, the item that is most often shoplifted from grocery stores is meat.
Meatlifting is a grave problem for food retailers: According to the Food Marketing Institute, meat was the most shoplifted item in America's grocery stores in 2005. (It barely edged out analgesics and was a few percentage points ahead of razor blades and baby formula.) Meat's dubious triumph is due in part to a law enforcement crackdown on methamphetamine use. Meat used to be the shoplifting runner-up to health-and-beauty-care items, a category that includes cough medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in home-cooked meth.
Why do you think this is? Especially given that meat seems like a messy item to steal. The most straightforward answer is that meat is one of the more expensive items in many grocery stores. Are there any other reasons?

(Source: Free Exchange)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hire a Protester

A German company offers young Germans that you can hire to protest for your cause:
Young, good-looking, and available for around 150 euros (£100), more than 300 would-be protesters are marketing themselves on a German rental website. They feature next to cars, DVDs, office furniture and holiday homes.

Next time you want me to postpone a test, just hire some Germans to protest outside my apartment...

(Source: Marginal Revolution)