Tag Archives: European Union

The World’s Top Economists – who are they, what can they do for your country?

The OECD Forum is an amazing event taking in place in Paris on 2nd and 3rd of June, it “brings together all sectors of society to share policies and ideas around 45 sessions and will enrich the Ministerial Meeting, where government leaders and ministers will discuss similar issues.” We hope to see you there, if you would like arrange a meeting, please contact us.

Will the Greek crisis be the elephant in the living room at the upcoming OECD Forum 2015?

The OECD Forum has no dedicated session about the Greek Crisis, nor any speaker representing Greece. Has the world given up on Greece? If that is so, we’d like to bring in fresh ideas.

2015_FDIMagnet_GreekCrisis_Teaser_vFWhen countries are in economic trouble or have the ambition to succeed even better, Diasporas can help. Not just with the usual mean of transferring money to family and friends (remittances) but also: with foreign direct investments, expertise and thought leadership… The Diaspora is a huge pool of talents. We’ve had the opportunity to say so during the World Lithuanian Economic Forum [view PDF].

Greek economists in Diaspora have the cultural bond to genuinely care about the country and they can ‘think outside the box’ to examine the situation more objectively. Plus, they have a network abroad: they can convince fellow economists that their action plan will work and restore foreign investor confidence.

We’ve looked at RePEc, a reference database in economic research. ‘RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) is a collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in 84 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in Economics and related sciences. The heart of the project is a decentralized bibliographic database of working papers, journal articles, books, books chapters and software components, all maintained by volunteers. The collected data is then used in various services that serve the collected metadata to users or enhance it. So far, over 1,750 archives from 84 countries have contributed about 1.7 million research pieces from 2,100 journals and 4,000 working paper series.’

We’ve found that of 45k RePEc authors, about a thousand of the world’s top economists have Greek names, which could indicate that they are Greek, or have Greek heritage or some connection with Greece.

You can find the list of top economists in our open data catalogue of useful dataset for Investment Promotion. You’ll find many of them following @FDIMagnet on twitter.

What about European integration in business?

Using our unique sociolinguistics technology, we’ve analyzed the gender and diversity of origin of over .5 million company directors of the largest companies in Europe.

2015_EuropeanCompanyDirectors_MilleFeuilleWhat can we conclude from this colorful ‘mille-feuille’? Although Europe is integrated in the sense that every major European company operates in every other European country, European businesses often are still nationalistic. That may explain some of the European tension over the Greek Crisis. Companies in Greece have Greek company directors; companies in Germany have German company directors etc. with the exception of a few European countries, more open to attracting talents from all over Europe (Great-Britain…) If nothing changes, Greece’s management talents will keep flowing to those countries – and that’s not helping restore the Greek economy.

About FDIMagnet,

FDIMagnet is NamSor™ offering for Investment Promotion. We use our unique data mining software to offer differentiated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) services:

–   Diaspora Direct Investments (DDI)

–   Smart Investors Targeting & CRM

–   FDI Targeted Communication

Follow @FDIMagnet, join the LinkedIn group or email us at contact@fdimagnet.com

©2015 NamSor™ – all rights reserved.

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Filed under FDI Magnet, General

What’s the Gender Gap in the European Union Whoiswho?

This summer, the European Union has published an updated version of The Official Directory of the European Union [mirror: FYWW13001ENC.pdf, in ZIP/Excel format TheEUDirectory_xls.zip].

The EU Directory is not a good candidate for the GenderGapGrader initiative – because it’s not a truly global database like the FAA Airman Directory or the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), which we’ve used to disclose the gender gap among airline pilots or in the film industry.

But it’s a useful document, which lists people from all countries of Europe with their title (Mr, Ms). We can use it to validate our methodology, specifically compute the error rate of the software we use to predict the gender of names. The document lists about fifteen thousand EU executives, with different roles : Member, Head of Unit, Substitute, Director, Counsellor, Head of Division, Legal secretary, Vice-Chair, Attaché, First Secretary, Member of the Bureau, Administrator, Adviser, Head of Delegation, Second Secretary, Acting Head of Unit, Vice-President, Head of Service, Chair, Head of Office, Director-General, Delegate, Head of Sector, Assistant to the Director-General, Bureau member, Third Secretary, Judge, Head of private office, Acting Director, Head of Cabinet …

We’ve used RapidMiner with the Onomastics extension (available free in RapidMiner MarketPlace) to calculate the Gender Gap, then we’ve compared the results from then actual counts using titles (Mr, Ms). The software recognizes the origin of personal names to solve cases such as Andrea Rossini (likely Male) or Andrea Parker (likely Female), Jean, Kim etc. The use of the ‘gender scale’ metric (a numeric value between -1 and +1), instead of the predicted gender (Male, Female or Unknown), helps level cases of truly genderless names such as Kerry.


In the chart above, the difference cannot be seen with the human eye: onomastics are a reliable tool to measure the gender gap. In most cultures, names can be used to accurately predict gender (with the notable exception of Chinese names, Korean names once transliterated).

The European Institute for Gender Equality is an EU agency based in Vilnius, Lithuania, which promotes gender equality, fights discrimination based on sex and raises gender awareness. What about promoting gender equality among EU political institutions;-) We believe such new data mining capabilities and growing open data initiatives can help public and private organisations find innovative solutions to close the gender gap.


Using RapidMiner Onomastics extension to measure the Gender Gap

Additional information in the EU Directory allows to visualize other factors affecting the gender gap : EU Country of affiliation, role, …



We are continuously improving the software to predict the origin and gender of names. The coming version of GendRE API v0.0.16 will still enhance the accuracy. Also, please stay tuned for the upcoming GenderGapGrader study on women entrepreneurship, start-ups and access to financing (VCs, Business Angels…)

To redo this study or make your own

– Get the source data files used in this article [mirror: FYWW13001ENC.pdf, in ZIP/Excel format TheEUDirectory_xls.zip]

– Get RapidMiner with Onomastics extension and Documentation, watch the tutorial video

– Or download directly the results TheEuropeanUnionDirectory_genderized.zip

About NamSor

NamSor™ Applied Onomastics is a European designer of name recognition software. NamSor is committed to promote diversity and equal opportunity. NamSor launched GendRE API, a free API to extract gender from personal names. We support the @GenderGapGrader initiative. http://namsor.com

About GenderGapGrader

GenderGapGrader’s mission is to publish gender gap estimates at the finest grain level, using whatever reference database we can identify for a particular industry: The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) for the film industry, “The Airman Database” for pilots… and more to come. http://gendergapgrader.com

Creative Commons License
‘What’s the Gender Gap in the European Union Whoiswho?’ by gendergapgrader is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://namesorts.com/2014/09/09/whats-the-gender-gap-in-the-european-union-whoiswho/.

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Indian, Chinese, Russian and Japanese directors in European Big Business – an onomastics view [2/2]

Today, with this map of Japanese and Russian business communities in Europe, we complete an earlier post about Indian and Chinese presence in European economic affairs (*).

Japanese and Russian Business Comunities in EU plus Switzerland (vF)

The map would look different if we filtered information according to certain sectors (industry, trade, energy,…) but as it is, what does the picture tell us?

Besides showing the obvious and the well-known (a strong Russian business community in Russia’s traditional zone of influence, for example in the Baltic’s Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia ; a predominance of Russian businessmen in Cyprus international “offshore” financial holdings), it reveals several less expected features.

Firstly, one would expect Germany to be a stronghold of Russian business in Europe, due to the high level of trade between Russia and Germany. It may be so, but while there are many company directors with Russian names, there are even more Chinese, Indian and Japanese businessmen  in Germany.

Secondly, there is a clear Japanese preference in favour of Belgium and the Netherlands for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and as an entry door for trade with Europe.

Thirdly, while Indian and Chinese directors share a similar profile to select European target countries for FDIs and trading, Russian and Japanese businessmen demonstrate more polarization: they generally make different choices.

Keep posted ! Follow us on Twitter or join the Onomastics group on Facebook

©2012 NamSor™ – All rights reserved.

(* We show the density of Japanese and Russian company directors expressed relatively to the total density of Japanese, Russian, Indian and Chinese presence, measured using the onomastics of about half a million company directors of the largest companies of all sectors, in the European Union plus Switzerland. Accuracy of name classification software is typically in the range 75%-95%)


Filed under EthnoViz, FDI Magnet

Indian, Chinese, Russian and Japanese directors in European Big Business – an onomastics view [1/2]

In December 2012, we attempted to show graphically the cultural origins of about half a million directors of companies registered in the European Union (plus Switzerland). We found that twenty years after the official creation of the European Union, the European economy is still highly fragmented according national considerations (Greek companies have Greek directors, etc).

Amongst the colourful European company directors onomastics mille-feuille, four tiny layers represent the Indian, Chinese, Russian and Japanese names. There can be different reasons why a company director of such foreign origin should be on the board of a European company:

– the company may be the subsidiary of an Indian, Chinese, Russian or Japanese company,

– the company may have made significant investments abroad (joint-ventures, etc.) with Indian, Chinese, Russian or Japanese partners,

– the manager (or his ascendants) may have emigrated from his original country, before he made his way to the top locally,

– the director may have been recruited globally for his particular management skills.


In the map top left, we look at the relative share of Indian directors comparatively to Indian, Chinese, Russian and Japanese directors in each country. Not surprisingly, the Indian business community is strong in Great-Britain but other strongholds include Denmark and Luxembourg.

In the map top right, we see that Chinese businessmen are relatively very present in Switzerland and Germany.

If Indian and Chinese businessmen seem to desert Netherland, this is due to the strong Japanese business community. In the same way, both Indian and Chinese are relatively absent from Cyprus, a location favoured by Russian businessmen to create financial holdings and redirect investments towards Russia.

About FDIMagnet,

FDI Magnet is NamSor™ offering for Investment Promotion. We use our unique data mining software to offer differentiated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) services:

–   Diaspora Direct Investments (DDI)
–   Smart Investors Targeting & CRM
–   FDI Targeted Communication

Follow @FDIMagnet, join the LinkedIn group or email us at contact@fdimagnet.com


Filed under EthnoViz, FDI Magnet, General

European company directors onomastics mille-feuille (2012)


This arty colourful picture is a graphical view of the onomastics of about half a million company directors in the European Union (plus Switzerland). Only the 5K largest companies of each country were considered, so that excludes SMEs and restaurants. What does it say about European big business? Basically, that large companies in Greece (GRC) -for example- have Greek company directors, etc. Each line above the country ISO3 code corresponds to similar pie chart.

Obviously, European economic integration and the mobility of European top executives are still a work in progress.

In our next posts, we will highlight the benefits of onomastics to monitor Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in different parts of the world: Western FDIs in Africa, BRICs FDIs in Europe.

About FDIMagnet,

FDI Magnet is NamSor™ offering for Investment Promotion. We use our unique data mining software to offer differentiated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) services:

–   Diaspora Direct Investments (DDI)
–   Smart Investors Targeting & CRM
–   FDI Targeted Communication

Follow @FDIMagnet, join the LinkedIn group or email us at contact@fdimagnet.com


Filed under FDI Magnet, General