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The geography of technology
China takes a lead
China shows signs of winning the global patent war according to research conducted by Japanese newspaper Nikkei. The US leads in terms of quality of research, but by volume and commitment China is eking ahead. Via Nikkei
UK’s tech scene doubles down
The size of the UK tech ecosystem is approaching $600bn, nearly tripling in four years despite Brexit and the pandemic. The value of British startups exceeds those in France and Germany combined. Via Tech Nation
On the up
Europe's growth rate of unicorns (startups worth more than $1bn) is on an upward trend. Via Michael Jackson
Work and education
Turning back the clock
The economic shock of coronavirus lockdowns sent US female labour force participation (LFP) back 33 years, to levels not seen since the Iran-Contra affair in March of ‘87. By comparison, female LFP in the UK has barely moved a whisker. Via Fred
AI can create jobs
Another excellent Acemoglu et al paper finds “no discernible impact of AI exposure on employment or wages at the occupation or industry level, implying that AI is currently substituting for humans in a subset of tasks but it is not yet having detectable aggregate labour market consequences.” Via Tariq Khatri
The correlation between degrees and longevity
While US life expectancy between racial lines is slowly narrowing, the life expectancy gap between those with a degree and without remains stubborn. Via Daniel Zamora Vargas
Can you hear me now?
Finding the right video software was anything but easy for the UK government last year. Some departments were barred from specific platforms as the lockdown evolved. Via Sam Cooper
A grim milestone
Atmospheric CO2 is now 50% above pre-industrial levels. Via Carbon Brief
Coal on the way out
In one decade, 99% of shareholder value in coal evaporated. Incredible.Via Clark Williams-Derry
Two wheels are better than four
Electric vehicle manufacturers are multiplying, funded by generous capital markets. Their plans expose massively aggressive revenue targets, a selection shooting for $10bn in annual revenues within 2-6 years. Google took eight, Tesla more than 10. What would need to happen for these firms to hit those growth rates? Via WSJ
Picking up the slack
Germany’s flight from nuclear energy may go down as one of the worst wrong-turns in climate policy. Post-Fukushima, natural gas is picking up the slack. Via Bloomberg
The grab bag
Bitcoin has often been uncorrelated with other risky assets, meaning it could form an effective hedge to their volatility despite its own flightiness. Since summer 2019, correlations with those risk asset classes have increased, reducing its utility as a hedge. Via Jeroen Blockland
The latest drop is a big one
Sneakerheads are driving big sales. Given all the time we spent on social media over the last year, it makes sense that viral sneakers are driving impressive sales. Via Second Measure
Art’s not dead
I wasn’t familiar with Artemisia Gentileschi but this map says I’m in the minority (at least in China and Australia). Via Art Supplies
The extended family
Which one is your favourite? Via Mark Pahlow
Hope you liked this week’s Charts of the Week. If there is a good source of charts you think might help us improve this, let us know in the comments. We’ve got a pretty decent list of sources but always open to more.
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