Diasporas and $$$

As Steeler Nation gears up to descend on Dallas in two weeks, The Economist (magazine) reminds us of the economic value of (such!) diaspora networks:

Brainy globetrotters are rarely rootless. Even the most cosmopolitan usually feel an affinity with others who share the same language, culture or heritage. That is why diaspora networks are so powerful, and why some of the world’s most influential people rely on them so heavily.
Some diasporas are vast and global. For example, there are an estimated 25m non-resident Indians and 60m overseas Chinese, including significant numbers in nearly all countries. They create a web of cross-border connections. Boffins are 30-50% more likely to cite a paper by someone of their own ethnicity than you would expect if such ties made no difference, according to William Kerr of Harvard Business School. Diaspora networks speed the flow of information, the lifeblood of science and commerce.
Tribes still matter: How global leaders tap into diaspora networks  (From "A Special Report on Global Leaders")

For the folks sitting at home, the Super Bowl will be a chance to bask in the reflected success of a team that they have no part of, but that has has a surprisingly successful season.  Steeler Nation claims the team's virtue as their own.  The Steelers success is our success, the city's success, and the region's success.  (From that perspective, unfortunately, there is no glory in beating Green Bay.  At least Chicago has big shoulders.)

For the folks going to the game, business elites first in many cases and fans second, the Super Bowl is largely about money.  Not money as in "what Steeler Nation will spend in North Texas," but money as in "what Steeler Nation can bring home to Pittsburgh."  The Diaspora will be out in force in Dallas, doing what Diasporas do.  The Super Bowl may well mean more to Pittsburgh in that sense than it means to any other city.

Do good and do well.  Can't wait.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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