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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:25

Video transcript

we've talked about things that might drive inequality the things that Thomas Piketty refers to as forces of divergence but now let's think about or at least what some of what he cites is forces of convergence so forces of convergence or things that might make the world a more equal place and the primary one that he cites is one that's very close to my heart and this is the spread of knowledge spread of knowledge and what we have here is a couple of charts that show the spread of knowledge at least on a macro basis on a regional basis and show how it has has been a driver of starting to equalize global output as we start in 1700 we see that it was going from 1700 through the Industrial Revolution frankly as the West was developing or industrializing the West Europe and America became a larger and larger percentage of global output and Asia became a smaller and smaller percentage but then as you go into the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century you see that dynamic change Asia Asia's Asia's percentage of world output is increasing more and more and that's arguably happening because you've had a transfer of knowledge a diffusion of knowledge from the west to the east to the east for modern manufacturing techniques and design techniques and engineering techniques and whatever else and that's why as we are in the beginning of the 21st century Asia is turning to a major industrial powerhouse they've learned from the West and in some dimensions are even improving on some of the dynamics from or some of the knowledge from the West to to make themselves more and more productive so at least on a regional basis this shows that the world is becoming more equal because of this spread of knowledge and we could also see it on a per capita basis so this right over here this is global well this this is there essentially plotting over time per capita GDP as a percentage of world average so the world average the world average right over here is obviously a hundred percent of the world so that's why it's just a flat line at a hundred percent and we see as we go through the Industrial Revolution Europe and America essentially the West the West its per capita GDP becomes a larger and larger percentage of the average per capita GDP for the globe but that was true until recently until the last few decades the last few decades as a percentage it's gone down that doesn't mean that it's that per capita GDP is going down it just means that it's its share as a percentage of world average is going down and that's really because Asia Asia's per capita GDP has been growing even faster because of once again that spread of knowledge so at least this this idea of spread of knowledge it does seem to be playing out at a regional level it's bringing at least right now it seems like Asia is participating much more than Africa but it's starting to bring the non West I guess the you know the East more in line with the West in terms of productive capacity and and and wealth per person and per capita GDP however you want however you want to look at it now an interesting question that's at a regional level what about an individual level and we'll talk about that more in the next video