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Charles Kenny writes,


The good news is that decolonization began a process of leveling the playing field, with rapidly climbing and converging indicators of health and education worldwide. Thanks to the Flynn effect, IQs are doubtless on a path of convergence as well, and the poisonous idiocy of genetic explanations for wealth and poverty will soon lose what little empirical support they might appear to have today.

Read the whole thing. To me, it seems possible to believe that IQ affects economic development without denying that economic development affects IQ. It also seems possible to believe that IQ affects economic development without claiming that IQ is racially determined. I would hope that one could undertake research on the role of IQ in economic development without being presumed to have racist intent.


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CATEGORIES: IQ in Economics



COMMENTS (9 to date)
Saturos writes:

I read on the Economist recently that it had been found that childhood disease was what explained lower IQs in developing countries, and indeed the Flynn effect more generally.

Urstoff writes:

Citing Gould's book is a quick way to get yourself dismissed as a serious thinker on intelligence.

Steve Sailer writes:

There are still some low-hanging fruits where 3rd World countries would benefit from public health programs that succeeded in the U.S. in the first half of the 20th Century in boosting IQ directly or energy. Fortifying salt with iodine eliminated the medical syndrome cretinism. while fortifying wheat with iron also eliminated an IQ-sapping medical condition. The Rockefeller Foundation's war on hookwarm greatly benefited the physical and economic energy of Southerners by ridding them of a parasite.

Kiwanis International is the leading charity in salt iodization in poor countries. As you can see, these are not fashionable causes, but Lonborg has long identified them as high bang for the buck development projects.

Steve Sailer writes:

"Thanks to the Flynn effect, IQs are doubtless on a path of convergence as well, and the poisonous idiocy of genetic explanations for wealth and poverty will soon lose what little empirical support they might appear to have today."

Convergence is what everybody assumes will happen, but what actually seems to be happening is that East Asians have begun to pull away from the rest of the world. When I plotted Lynn's IQ data a decade ago for the whole 20th Century, the main trend visible was rising East Asian scores relative to everybody else.The unreleased 2009 PISA scores from Chinese and Indian regions appear to show even poor, rural Chinese districts scoring in the same ballpark as European countries, while Indian states are scoring very badly, barely above SubSaharan levels. In the American SAT test, Asians (including, this time, South Asians) have been pulling away from whites over the last decade.

Jeff writes:

Can I ask why he is "doubtless" that IQ's are converging across national or ethnic lines? He cites no evidence for the claim; he merely notes that health and educational outcomes are converging and then assumes that IQ's must be doing the same while labeling any dissent or skepticism as "poisonous idiocy."

That doesn't strike me as the attitude of someone who is interested in an honest discussion.

Steve Sailer writes:

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/05/urge-to-purge-iq-and-wealth-of-nations.html

Nanonymous writes:

Jeff:
That doesn't strike me as the attitude of someone who is interested in an honest discussion.

He isn't. He seems to be the same Charles Kenny who wrote that "[communism] wasn’t an obviously inferior economic system (though certainly brutal to its citizens)". All indications are that the guy is only interested in finding support for his liberal beliefs.

Philo writes:

“It also seems possible to believe that IQ affects economic development without claiming that IQ is racially determined.” Why "seems"? It is pretty obvious that IQ affects economic development. On the other hand, even to the extent that one’s IQ is genetically determined, it could not be determined by one’s *race*: one’s race (if any) does not determine one’s genome. So your first proposition is obviously true and your second obviously false.

Mr. Econotarian writes:

I suspect that heritable behaviors regarding communal/family/clan adhesion versus individualism are actually more important in global development than IQ.

For example, the China has a higher average IQ than the US, but it was the pervasive presence of feudalism and later communism there that has kept China from developing until very recently.

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