Friday, May 13, 2011

Why I Am Awesome Right Now

I'm trying to finish my paper on Central Asia right now, but I ran into a problem an hour ago. I was arguing in the second-to-last section of my paper that the countries in the region that restrict free capital flows discourage foreign investment, which makes perfect sense theoretically. However, when I got the GDP growth numbers, the two most restrictive countries when it comes to capital flows were the second and third fastest growing economies! Oh no!

After a brief moment of panic where I abandoned everything I learned in monetary and started trying to read up on Joseph Stiglitz, I realized that I am a smart dude, and I could probably get some more data and figure this problem out. I might be more proud of myself than I should be, but it is often *very* hard to find good statistics on Central Asia. No one cares about this region.

First I found some statistics on foreign direct investment from UNCTAD (The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). Then, I used GDP statistics from the IMF (after making sure that everything was measured in the same way as the FDI numbers, in US dollars, using current prices). Finally, I smushed it all together in Excel and made this pretty lookin' chart:

Will ya look at that - the two countries with the strictest capital controls have the lowest foreign direct investment flows as a percentage of total GDP! THIS is why I'm awesome.

A reason that I'm not awesome is that I just took 10 minutes to procrastinate and brag over a pretty simple excersize rather than continue to write my final paper.

Back to work!