|March 13, 2000
Media Contacts: Anne
Middleton, (858) 534-2777, or Paula
Cichocka, (858) 534-1465
ECONOMIST PARKER'S PLACEMENT OF CROSS-CULTURAL STATISTICS INTO PUBLIC
DOMAIN GENERATES PLETHORA OF RESPONSES
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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),
… MIT Professor John D.C.
Little, who calls Parker's effort "a tour de force in data
… "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.