I wrote a blog entry on this about a week ago, Why some racial groups seem to do better than the others academically? I don’t feel I have fully explored this, it is a complex matter. I also have not personally wrote anything substantial in a long time and rather rustic at it right now.
I have read a follow up article on this topic and I think explored this topic further The truth about Asian Americans’ success (it’s not what you think). I think there is a lot truth in this, I also watched some of the Amy Chua’s video discussing her new book which relates to this topic, those are very interesting as well. BTW, I read her Tiger Mother book and it was a good read.
One thing that pointed in the article is that recent immigrants from East Asia tend to be highly educated and creates the phenomenon of what the author calls “Ethic Capital”. Basically what this means is that more highly educated and driven some of the members of a particular group is, more easily for the rest of the group to benefit from this knowledge. This is happening in Sydney as well, similar house which in the same suburb that fall into well know public school can command significant price premium, some example of this being Artarmon Public School, Murray Farm Public School etc.
Amy Chua also list what she called triple package that lend the drive for success for people
- Sense of Exceptionality
- Impulse control
On the first item, given that very degree of education of east Asian immigrants, it is not a surprise that a lot of them are very successful and exceptional in their native country, certainly relates to the general population that is.
On second item, this is in my view very common in the new immigrant group, given the new environment they have to adapt to and succeed in quickly, it is not a surprise that there is a sense of insecurity. Also Asian countries are all very crowded and tend to highly competitive, whether that be university position, jobs etc. This creates a sense of insecurity and competitive natural.
On the third item, Chinese are very notorious with this, their whole culture evolve somewhat around this which the other East Asian countries have a lot of similarity to it as well.
Lastly I think because a lot of parents are major beneficiary of education and have good impulse control themselves, they well understood what education can do for their children and try to instil the same qualities into their children as well. Whether some parents are over doing this and cause an entirely different problem is a different topic for another day.