Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey

By Razib Khan | May 24, 2011 10:38 am

Since most international migration is apparently between “developing nations”, I thought the Iran-Iraq-Turkey-Syria border would be interesting to look at in terms of differences in economic and social indices.

  • Interesting

    You should consider using also absolute GDP-numbers…? PPP has problems as well so that would be a good addition. After thinking about it a bit (and the obvious problems), a high PPP is partially developed by a lot of cheap labour in the service sector to keep the prices of the services down. (So it is not that perfect index of well-being in a country.)

    By the way, why aren’t there any good GDP stats from Iraq before 2005? It must have been the regional leader in 1980s…

  • Glidingpig

    Should the title read Iraq, IRAN, Syria, Turkey?

  • megan

    Do you have a recent breakdown of ethnic and haplo type groups through the region and how they overlap the borders? I’ve always found it fascinating the flow of groups through that whole region since the time of Alexander the Great going further east into Afghanistan-India-China. Specifically the Kurds and where they fall? Oh course you’ve probably done so in another blog, I’ve missed. But thanks anyway.

  • Clark

    So what happened in Iran in the late 80’s? Was that when the pill became widely available? Pretty dramatic effect whatever it was.

  • Razib Khan

    clark, the iranian gov (that is, the clerical caste) switched from a pro-natalist to an anti-natalist (or at least pro-family planning) stance. in the iran-iraq war they wanted to keep population up since they lacked iraq’s big $ backers who supplied weapons. after it was over they wanted to get population out of control for standard malthusian reasons (they’re a petro-economy, so more people != more productivity :-)

  • Randy McDonald

    Levels of economic output, even PPP-adjusted, can be misleading. Turkey and Iran might have similar GNI per capita figures, but Iran’s output is concentrated disproportionately in the oil sector, producing large revenues but requiring heavy investment and making relatively little use of local labour. Turkey’s economy, in contrast, is substantially more balanced and diversified.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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