Monday, April 27, 2009

Why do different countries favor different professions?

The Economist has a in-depth article about the variance of professions of different countries.
Why do different countries favour different professions? And why are some professions so well represented in politics? To find out, The Economist trawled through a sample of almost 5,000 politicians in “International Who’s Who”, a reference book, to examine their backgrounds.

Different countries—because of their history, or cultural preferences, or stage of development—seem to like particular qualities, and these qualities are provided disproportionately by only a few professions. Lawyers and business executives are common; economists, academics and doctors do surprisingly well.

Countries often have marked peculiarities. Egypt likes academics; South Korea, civil servants; Brazil, doctors. Some emerging-market countries are bedevilled by large numbers of criminals, even if this doesn’t usually show up in their “Who’s Who” records.

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