Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stat of the day

Daniel Henninger:
Everyone cites a favorite datum—Egypt produced Nasser and Mubarak while Turkey got Ataturk and free-market economist Turgut Ozal as prime minister in the 1980s. But here's mine: In Egypt, the percentage of the working population employed by the state is 35%. In Turkey, it's 13%.
Henninger adds:
The economic literature is vast on the smothering effects of large, inefficient public sectors. If Egypt is now exhibit A for these studies in torpid economies, then exhibits B, C, D and E would be Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia and Algeria, the other nations that erupted the past several weeks. In Jordan nearly 50% of the employed population works for the state. This is an economy?
Consistent data on public work forces across nations is hard to find, but IMD, the Swiss business school, produces a comparison of public-sector employment as a percentage of total population for its Competitiveness Yearbook. It shows a striking correlation between economic success in emerging economies and relatively low populations of public employees, notably in Asia.
Korea, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and even China (at 8.3%) have low public employment as a percentage of total population. In Singapore, it's less than 3%. Also on the list, below 15%, are Colombia, Peru and Chile, three of South America's strongest economies. A low number doesn't guarantee strong growth, but a high number probably kills it.
Absolutely right.

Update: John Stossel is on the same page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The guns made in Egyptian have a bad reputation for poor quality build but its a good gun. I guess cost is an issue due to the huge size of police population (1 Mill + for regular police not including riot control, presidential guards, special forces etc...)"
This is a comment from a man living in Egypt. Note that regular police include over one million persons. He was looking for a pistol to defend his family and reports that the current cost for a .22 is about $7000 due to all legitimate sources having been plundered.