Monday, December 14, 2009

How to know you are from a civilized country - Instrumental Variables proposal

I've just arrived in Brazil for the Holidays, taking one of those crowded flights with a random sample of those that left the country in search of a better life and are also returning for Christmas. I am usually ashamed about the average Brazilian immigrant's behavior and this last flight just reinforced my beliefs (or prejudices...).

During the flight, I was thinking that what really sets apart "civilized" from "non-civilized" societies (or groups of people) is how much individuals from this group respect others around them There are so many niceties simply forgotten by people that show, at least to me, a clear display of the lack of development of human beings.

I think that economists could use the intensity of clapping when a plane lands in their home country as a measure of low development. Shouting "Thank you pilot!" or "My mother loves you for landing us safely" gives your extra bonus points. From my small sample, here goes the ranking so far on a 1-10 scale:

Brazil: Average 10. My last flight: 134.53
Egypt: 9
Italy 7.5
Spain: 6.5
Portugal: 3
US: 2 (although there were many Brazilians in it).
France, Iceland, Sweden, UK: 0.

Perhaps a binary variable would work better... Anyway, suggestions accepted!


  1. The check in tell us a lot. From Europe it is difficult to have an idea since you rarely check in at the country that departs to Brazil. Go check in your luggage in Miami to Brazil, and you will know what I am talking about.

    Actually, there are only two things you can realize just passing by:

    1. If the check in is a flight to Brazil or not.
    2. If in a soccer game at Maracana, Flamengo is playing or not.

    Btw, the relationship is true ... brazilian immigrants are to the world as flamengo supporters are ...


  2. Just arrived from Rio. You should have seen how messy the airport was: 1 hour queue just to go through customs and the air-conditioning was broken!

    I bet they were ll Flamengo supporters... :)