Thursday, November 13, 2008

National flag colors and well-being

While is it apparently known that wearing red apparel improves performance in sports (and this has nothing to do with the earlier post on red-shirting), what about the colors of national flags and the World Bank's Human Development Index (HDI)? Voxi Heinrich Amavilah tackles this all important issue.

And the result is that flag colors do not really matter. While one may have some serious doubts at the theorizing in this paper, it is reassuring that the empirics turn out the expected result. An example of what counts as theory here: the dominant colors of a flag are reduced to a number by the sum of numbers arbitrarily assigned to base colors. To quote the paper, "Afghani dominant flag colors are Black and Green set on White. Therefore, the dummy variable for the Afghani flag colors = White + Green + Black = White + (Yellow x Blue) + Black = 5 + 8 + 1 = 5 + (2 x 4) + 1 = 13." And so on. One can only hope no journal will accept such work.

Meanwhile, I take from this exercise that we can continue to stick to the fundamentals of the economy.


Vilfredo said...

This paper is truly silly. Even the data collection is absurd, as I notice that the Swiss flag is supposed to be red, white and blue.

You called earlier for the certification of economists. This would be a good example for this need.

Anonymous said...

What is the effect of national symbols like national flag colors on economic well-being? Until someone dares to be silly, we may never know.

Kansan said...

There are no silly questions. But there are silly answers.