Tag: Hapsburgs

In praise of the House of Habsburg!

By Razib Khan | March 2, 2011 1:27 am

One of the most annoying aspects of the post-Westphalian era is the conceit that all national administrative units are equivalent in some deep fundamental sense. So, for example, you get comparisons of per capita income for nations, and Luxembourg and Lichtenstein inevitably show up at the top of the rankings. Everyone knows that this is a farce, but a nation is a nation, and one must honor the ideal, even when it leads us to bizarre assessments like this. Luxembourg has a population of 500,000, and is a little dot of a nation. It’s really ludicrous to compare it to Italy, which spans the gamut from Milan’s value-added wealth to Puglia’s spare poverty.

But with modern statistical tools and GIS software we can disaggregate the mishmash of administrative units which coalesce together to constitute large amorphous nations, and actually compare like to like. In this way those of us who haven’t traveled all around the world, and actually lived “on the ground,” can get a sense for fine-scale variation which all the locals have as part of their background information. This is what the Eurostat Yearbook is handy for. In particular, I love their NUT2 and NUT 3 visualizations. NUT 2 specifically is good for someone like me with a modest amount of geographical knowledge, since these units often correspond to historical regions which we’re familiar with (e.g., Catalonia, Tuscany, etc.).

Below are a selection of maps which I think are informative and interesting. But please note that some of these maps are generated from mid-2000s to 2007 data. This means there are going to be some obvious inflation of values for Ireland, inflation through fraud in Greece, and the property bubble in Spain. With those caveats, here’s GDP:

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Economics
MORE ABOUT: Economics, Hapsburgs
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