NCBI ROFL: When it comes to penis length and economic growth, size does matter.

By ncbi rofl | July 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Male organ and economic growth: does size matter?

“This paper explores the link between economic development and penile length between 1960 and 1985. It estimates an augmented Solow model utilizing the Mankiw-Romer-Weil 121 country dataset. The size of male organ is found to have an inverse U-shaped relationship with the level of GDP in 1985. It can alone explain over 15% of the variation in GDP. The GDP maximizing size is around 13.5 centimetres, and a collapse in economic development is identified as the size of male organ exceeds 16 centimetres. Economic growth between 1960 and 1985 is negatively associated with the size of male organ, and it alone explains 20% of the variation in GDP growth. With due reservations it is also found to be more important determinant of GDP growth than country’s political regime type. Controlling for male organ slows convergence and mitigates the negative effect of population growth on economic development slightly. Although all evidence is suggestive at this stage, the `male organ hypothesis’ put forward here is robust to exhaustive set of controls and rests on surprisingly strong correlation”

Bonus quotes from the main text:

“Only stylized explanations for these perplexing patterns can be brought up at this point. One discussed below revolves around the proposed aggregate ‘self-esteem production function’ which could potentially explain the inverted relation between GDP and penile length. Taken at face value the findings suggest that the ‘male organ hypothesis’ put forward here is quite penetrating an argument. Yet for the best of author’s knowledge, male organ has not been touched in the growth literature before.”

“The data regarding the physical dimensions of male organs is openly available online and has been compiled [by an unknown party] from an extensive number of sources. Large part of the data has been collected by health authorities but some observations are self-reported. Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, self-reported data might be biased, supposedly upwards. However, a moment of reflection with the global penile length distribution map and anecdotal ‘Internet-sourced evidence’ reveals that the self-reported figures are in-line with anticipated patterns. Still, measurement errors can not be ruled out.”

“For obvious reasons the male organ narrative yields little in terms of feasible policy recommendations. Beyond mass [im]migration, not much can be done on the average size of male organ at the population level.”

“Even with the reservations outlined above the ‘male organ hypothesis’ is worth pursuing in future research. It clearly seems that the ‘private sector’ deserves more credit for economic development than is typically acknowledged.”

Download the PDF here.

via the Atlantic wire

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  • Elatia Harris

    I makes sense that the USA would be essentially average, considering it has far less of a common genetic background than other nations that might cause it to skew towards either end of the spectrum. Other nations represented here are more “closed” systems that would allow for such a phenomenon to occur over hundreds or even thousands of years. The USA, on the other hand, is a mixture of many countries.

  • mishawelsh

    It is amazing how many things correlate and how few are actually causal.

    Reminds me of a paper that found eating hot dogs correlated to an increase in a form of leukemia. But it found that eating something like 8-12 a week did, 13-18 didn’t, 19-24 did. That pretty much says the finding is meaningless but there is a correlation.

  • ColinC

    I can explain the causation! Larger penile length means less time spent making positive economic activity and more time… doing other things.

  • kayla

    Maybe I’m misreading it, but isn’t the paper saying that large penis size correlates with POOR economic development, and vice versa? If so, then if stereotypes hold true about male Africans, one should expect economic growth to be poor.

  • Gdad

    There is an obvious latent variable of ethnicity that underlies both findings. Also: diet, social norms, and 100 other things.

  • Cheree Byrne

    It’s logical, economic growth will affect the younger generations, more food and health advances will be aveilable, thus the kids will be stronger, taller with bigger male organs. Other factor such as migration has to be associated with male orgam growth, the developing country can hire bigger stronger workers from outside and some of them would move there looking for a better life.

  • Jay Brown

    Is another one of those “scientific study” in which the conclusion was decided upon and then the study done to support that conclusion.
    What did they do, go around asking the size of one’s penis and then correlation that to GDP.
    This is another one of those survey designed to show the superiority of Europeans vs Africans, and is sheer nonsense as far as I am concerned.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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