UCSD International AffairsUCSD Arts & Humanities
March 13, 2000

Media Contacts: Anne Middleton, (858) 534-2777, or Paula Cichocka, (858) 534-1465


When Philip M. Parker, an international management expert at UC San Diego's Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS), earlier this month released to the public a vast array of cross-cultural statistics of interest to those in economics and social sciences fields, he had no idea the information would be so widely and positively received. Within a 24-hour period, there were 500 downloads of these statistics, said Parker, who also has received hundreds of appreciative e-mails from people finding the information extremely useful.

Based on a rather complete enumeration of the world's population, Parker reports economic, demographic, social science and geographic statistics for the world's linguistic groups, religious groups, ethnic groups and national cultures. The data cover 300 variables, including income, consumption patterns, vital statistics, crime rates, suicide rates and natural resources.

Parker decided to give public access to the data after several requests from scholars who had read his previous research. To simplify distribution, he set up a Web site where the data could be downloaded. The statistics, which Parker recently distributed via a linguistics e-mail list, were adapted from Parker's earlier cross-cultural, four-volume encyclopedia, published by Greenwood Press (1997). The volumes are titled Religious Cultures of the World: A Statistical Reference, Linguistic Cultures of the World: A Statistical Reference, Ethic Cultures of the World: A Statistical Reference, and National Cultures of the World: A Statistical Reference.

The linguistics database includes more than 130,000 statistics covering 460+ language groups worldwide. Similarly, it contains statistics for world religions (more than 26,000 statistics covering 70+ religious groups worldwide), ethnic groups (300,000 statistics covering 400+ ethnic groups worldwide) and national cultures (more than 80,000 statistics covering 230+ countries). These spreadsheets, which are for non-commercial use and organized in XLS- and HTML-format spreadsheets, can be obtained by emailing Parker at: pmparker@ucsd.edu.

The statistics, contained on two XLS worksheets, also can be found at: http://www.icongroupedition.com/culture_statistics/default.asp

This information will be available on the IR/PS Web site in the near future.

This recent public distribution of Parker's data is being welcomed by a wide diversity of researchers and scholars - from the chairs of the nation's top linguistics programs, to anthropologists, sociologist and demographers.

"Phil Parker's data are a treasure chest for linguists and language specialists," said IR/PS Professor Y.H. "Yashy" Tohsaku, who directs the IR/PS Language Program and is a board member of the Collaborative Project for the National Standards foreign Language Learning and the California Japanese Framework Project. "Parker's data reveal directly or indirectly a variety of sociocultural, socioeconomic aspects of language. They provide an extensive amount of useful information for language planning and related activities."

When the Wall Street Journal reviewed Parker's four-volume encyclopedia in April '97, it wrote, "Well, better add this to the office library: a new four-volume reference set that uses statistics to recast the world into linguistic, religious, ethnic and national zones. Despite page after page of charts and numbers, the books make for gripping reading. An ordinary market study may never again suffice."

Other comments included in this April 30, 1997 Wall Street Journal book review, which can be found on the IR/PS Web site (http://www-irps.ucsd.edu/irps/innews/wsje043097.html), include:

MIT Professor John D.C. Little, who calls Parker's effort "a tour de force in data collection."

"What I found astonishing is that most of (Parker's) work originated so long ago but that no one today has done any statistical analytical work that proves it or disproves it," stated Fiorangelo Salvatorelli, a visiting professor at INSEAD from Oxford University.

"This is the only model I know of that truly explains international consumer behavior," stated Nader Tavassoli, an assistant marketing professor at MIT who has followed Parker's work and supports his theory of physioeconomics. "What's fascinating about the approach is the way he's built it from the bottom up," through the volumes of data. "It shows that it is not humans that are different, but their environments," Tavassoli said.

Based on theories dating to Hippocrates and Montesquieu, Parker uses the data to show that culture has far less effect on economic behavior than casual intuition might perceive. A more extensive discussion of this theory is given in Parker's forthcoming book, Physioeconomics: The Basis for Long-Run Economic Growth, to be published by MIT Press this summer.

Parker specializes in corporate strategy, global management, pricing, knowledge markets, product diffusion and forecasting for emerging technologies, especially telecommunications products and services. Before joining IR/PS in 1998, he taught for 10 years at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. Parker has a Ph.D. in business economics and an M.A. in managerial economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a master's in finance from the Universite d'Aix-Marseille, and a baccalaureat in mathematics and biology from Academie de Dijon.

Established in 1986, UCSD's Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) is the University of California's only professional school of international affairs. More information on the graduate school can be found on its Web site at: http://www-irps.ucsd.edu.