Thursday, July 06, 2006

Take That, America

Economists at Columbia and Berkeley studied the notorious tendency of United Nations diplomats to abuse their privilege of parking wherever and however they like in New York City without paying the tickets they get.

The researchers found one correlation they expected: Diplomats from countries "with a history of unchecked corruption, such as Nigeria," were more likely to abuse the privilege. Diplomats from better-governed countries were more likely to actually pay their fines.

But a second factor — poor U.S. image — emerged when the researchers matched the list of offenders against a 2002 world public opinion survey performed by the Pew Research Center.

Extrapolate at will.