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Dear Anonymous reader who commented on March 23, 2013:

Thank you for your interest. I am sorry that you found the blog ethnocentric, I certainly did not intend that. In responding to your specific concerns, there are a few things I would ask you to keep in mind.

First, this is a blog, and like any other opinion piece, it is expected to stimulate discussion, not necessarily be a refereed article. Your interest suggests I managed that - even if you found it provocative, at least we have a discussion started.

Second, I have referred to neither poverty nor to culture, as an explanation--but rather to agency, which is what a clinical psychologist I consulted in writing the blog suggested.

Thirdly, I highlighted the correlation with labor force participation, but I tried to be careful in interpretation, by pointing out it is not necessarily a causal relationship.

Finally, I am very open to alternative interpretations, indeed I conclude with asking for more research. I welcome your ideas, and hope you explore them.

Caroline