Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

IQ in Economics

A Category Archive (51 entries)

Your Big Doubts About the 10,000 Hour Rule Are Well-Founded

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Romer's "The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance" (Psychological Review 1993) isn't just one of the most famous articles in the history of academic psychology.  Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, the article's bullet... MORE

Four Big Facts About Hiring and IQ

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Many economists seem to think that IQ-based hiring is effectively illegal in the U.S.  O'Keefe and Vedder are two prominent voices, but plenty of mainstream labor economists say the same.  The more I read about this topic, though, the more... MORE

Age and Common Sense

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
Jim Flynn's latest book has fascinating info on age and intelligence.  But Sternberg, Wagner, Williams, and Horvath, "Testing Common Sense" (American Psychologist, 1995) suggest that Flynn misses an important part of the story.  There's a widespread perception that "common sense"... MORE

In a Just World...

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
In a just world, no researcher would be fired for truthfully stating that some kinds of immigrants have low IQs.In a just world, however, researchers would be fired for arguing that people with below-average IQs should be denied their basic... MORE

The Effect of Intelligence on Job Performance is Intuitive

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
From Schmidt and Hunter, "General Mental Ability in the World of World" (2004, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology):Why Is GMA [General Mental Ability] So Important for Job Performance?It can be difficult for people to accept facts and findings they... MORE

IQ and Hiring: Does the Law Matter?

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
While investigating the legality of hiring based on educational credentials and IQ tests, I came across an interesting old post by Half Sigma.  Why credentialism is safe but IQ tests aren't:[I]t's OK to use college degrees as a hiring requirement...... MORE

International IQ Testing Bleg

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
A series of queries that's stumping most of my favorite IQ researchers:Are there any countries where IQ testing for hiring purposes is totally legal?  Largely legal? Do we have any idea if the education premium rose less in those countries... MORE

Marshmallow Bleg

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Have results from the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment ever been used to predict adult income?  Or even better, adult income controlling for education and IQ?Any relevant citations are much-appreciated.... MORE

Making You Smarter

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Here's an excerpt from chapter 2 of the current draft of The Case Against Education.  Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Making You Smarter While educators often promise to teach students how to think, they rarely vow to raise students' intelligence.  Trying to "make... MORE

Vipul Naik of Open Borders sent me a very insightful email on the non-pecuniary returns to education.  He's kindly given me permission to reprint it.  Vipul speaks:I've been thinking more about your human capital/signaling/ability bias theories of education. It seems... MORE

Hedengren's Dog

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Two decades ago, economists started taking intelligence seriously.  Now economists are starting to take conscientiousness seriously.  Unfortunately, most existing data sets don't contain personality tests.  Even when they do, personality tests are only self-reports. Wouldn't it be great if we... MORE

Open Borders and Global IQ Bleg

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
Another bleg from the tireless Vipul Naik of Open Borders.  Vipul's words:What impact would open borders have on global IQ within a generation or two? Even hardcore IQ hereditarians concede some sort of Flynn effect and the role of malnutrition... MORE

My WSJ Review of Flynn's Are We Getting Smarter?

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
My review of James Flynn's Are We Getting Smarter? is in today's Wall Street Journal.  Highlights:When most people hear about the Flynn effect, they conclude that we really are getting smarter. Mr. Flynn is more cautious. He opens the book... MORE

Group IQ: One Source of Trustworthiness

IQ in Economics
Garett Jones
In Arnold's new essay entitled "Libertarians and Group Norms," he writes:[W]e live in a world that demands enormous levels of trust among strangers...I doubt that anyone fully comprehends what holds this fabric of trust together. I agree.  But we're building comprehension,... MORE

Social Desirability Bias vs. Intelligence Research

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
When lies sound better than truth, people tend to lie.  That's Social Desirability Bias for you.  Take the truth, "Half the population is below the 50th percentile of intelligence."  It's unequivocally true - and sounds awful.  Nice people don't call... MORE

The Great Unmentionable

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen write (large .pdf) We do not assume that national IQ is the only factor capable to explain global disparities in access to clean water and sanitation facilities; we only assume that it is probably the... MORE

The Contributions of William T. Dickens

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Tyler and Arnold have written engaging retrospectives on their Ph.D. cohorts at Harvard and MIT.  But I'd rather discuss the contributions of Arnold's classmate - and my undergraduate Econ 1 professor - William T. Dickens.  Arnold's right to say:Bill Dickens... MORE

Trevor Burrus, I Want to Convert You to Meritocracy

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
The meritorious Trevor Burrus responds to my defense of merit against his critique.  Though he's not crying uncle, Trevor concedes a key point:Bryan argues that "the correlation between market success and merit is imperfect, [but] still fairly high." Great success... MORE

The meritorious libertarian Trevor Burrus has unfortunately joined the ranks of libertarians against merit:Libertarians are often accused of advocating for a merit-based society. The free market, the argument goes, produces a distribution that more-or-less corresponds to how meritorious the people... MORE

Why Applicants Don't Volunteer Their Test Scores

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
Lots of great feedback in response to last week's question, "Why don't applicants volunteer their test scores?"  I'm increasingly impressed by the wide range of first-hand education/job experiences; clearly the world is full of puzzles few economists have ever conceived,... MORE

Baiting Garett Jones

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
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... MORE

Does breast-feeding really give your kids a leg up in life?  It's an important question, and there's a lot of research on it.  But most of the research is, at best, moderately convincing.  The key weakness: If parents falsely believe... MORE

Why Don't Applicants Volunteer Their Test Scores?

Economics of Education
Bryan Caplan
When lawyers hear about the signaling model of education, they often invoke the Supreme Court case of Griggs vs. Duke Power.  Griggs created a strong legal presumption that it is "discriminatory" for employers to hire on the basis of IQ... MORE

Consistency and IQ

IQ in Economics
David Henderson
Bryan Caplan's latest post is a great response to some assertions made by Will Wilkinson and Tyler Cowen. When Michael Kinsley was writing regularly for The New Republic during the first Bush administration, he was brilliant. He usually attacked Bush... MORE

An Optimist's Take on Charles Murray's Coming Apart

Income Distribution
Bryan Caplan
On Friday, I read Charles Murray's new book, Coming Apart: The State of White American, 1960-2010, cover to cover.  Murray's given the world another social science page turner, written with earnest eloquence and full of fascinating information.  His main claim:... MORE

The Bell Curve or The Bimodal Distribution?

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
Charles Murray writes, As recently as half a century ago, Americans across all classes showed only minor differences on the Founding virtues. When Americans resisted the idea of being thought part of an upper class or lower class, they were... MORE

Predict the More Predictive Test

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
IQ scores predict a wide range of life outcomes and respond to incentives.  But almost all of the evidence that IQ predicts life outcomes comes from IQ tests that don't use incentives.  Which raises a big question: Would incentivized IQ... MORE

What Is IQ - and Why Does It Matter?

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
Years ago, I told Tyler Cowen, "It's surprising that IQ tests predict life outcomes so well, because there's usually no financial incentive to get a high score."  He replied, "People try out of pride - an under-rated motive."  So when... MORE

I've been telling EconLog readers about my article with Steve Miller on intelligence and economic beliefs for years.  Now our piece has finally been published in Intelligence.  Quick version of the paper:Adding a measure of intelligence to the list of... MORE

Two Replies to Two Things

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
In the comments, Two Things writes:1. If your book about poverty doesn't discuss IQ then it will be worthless, or nearly so. 2. If your book blames poverty in underdeveloped countries on the immigration policies of developed countries then it... MORE

Against High-IQ Misanthropy

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Out of all the reactions I've heard to Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, the most disturbing are all variations on "Except stupid people.  They shouldn't have kids."  I could snark, "You mean people like you?," but that would be... MORE

IQ and Immigration: Only a Slight Caricature

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Mr. Human Biodiversity: The average IQ of immigrants from Mexico is 11 points less than ours.  Therefore, let's hunt them down like animals and cast them back into the fiery chasm from whence they came!Dr. Mainstream Intellectual: Only a monster... MORE

I'm pleased to see one critic of immigration, Richard Hoste, engaging my Comparative Advantage argument for open borders.  In fact, he admits that my point, then objects:Unfortunately, the low IQ masses vote.  They demand free health care, welfare and schools... MORE

How the Hive Mind Works

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
My colleague Garett Jones is working on a book called Hive Mind: Why Your Nation's IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own.  I thought about his project while reading Robert Gordon's article "Everyday Life as an Intelligence Test."  One... MORE

The Future will not be Civil

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
the new genetics will reveal much less than hoped about how to cure disease, and much more than feared about human evolution and inequality, including genetic differences between classes, ethnicities and races. That is Geoffrey Miller, who you may... MORE

Geoffrey Miller: Progressive for Intelligence

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
Overall, I'm critical of Geoffrey Miller's Spent (see here, here, and here).  But I'm impressed that after proclaiming himself "a secular humanist, an antiwar internationalist, an animal-rights environmentalist, a pro-gay feminist, a libertarian on most social, sexual, and cultural issues,... MORE

Bruce Charlton on IQ, Education, and Signaling

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
He writes, ...modern societies are currently vastly over-provided with formal education, and this education has the wrong emphasis. In particular, the job of sorting people by their general aptitude could be done more accurately, cheaply and quickly by using psychometrics... MORE

Links Without Comment (almost)

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Arnold Kling
Only because I am too busy. Grant McCracken on whether restrained consumer spending will be temporary or permanent. Virginia Postrel on the same topic, based on discussions at the Kauffman Foundation Forum. It was great to see her looking so... MORE

British Flynn Effect Reverses

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
People in advanced countries have been getting smarter for decades; that's the Flynn effect.  Researchers have been arguing for quite a while about when the Flynn effect is going to level off.  Now Flynn says that in Great Brain, his... MORE

Probably even smarter - only physics, math, and c.s. have higher average GRE scores.  We even beat electrical engineers.  Sorry, dad, but facts are facts. :-)Nevertheless, the fact that economists are smart is much less important that the fact that... MORE

The Difficult Concept of Evolution

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
David Friedman writes, It is hard to see how humans could have evolved intelligence if intelligence is not heritable. I hope that the notion that there is zero heritability of intelligence is a straw man. The debate ought to be... MORE

My Most Absurd Belief

Growth: Consequences
Arnold Kling
is that human nature has changed in the last few hundred years. If you could go back to 1708 and replace all of the babies at conception with babies conceived today, my prediction is that the alternative history from 1708... MORE

How Family Environment Works

IQ in Economics
Bryan Caplan
I finally got around to reading Plomin et al's classic 1997 parent-offspring adoption study. Background: Way back in 1975, Plomin and co-authors launched the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP). They put together a sample of 245 adoptees, their biological mothers, their... MORE

Personality and Ability

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Nobel Laureate James J. Heckman, et al write, Most economists are unaware of the evidence that certain personality traits are more malleable than cognitive ability over the life cycle and are more sensitive to investment by parents and to other... MORE

Race and Institutions

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Gary Becker writes, Yet it may be possible to overcome to a considerable degree this intergenerational transmission of low status. The most promising approaches in my opinion involve self-help programs that encourage better choices in black communities, the legalization of... MORE

Race and IQ Pushback

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen finds some in Slate and in The New York Times. In the latter, Richard E. Nisbett writes, Most important, we know that interventions at every age from infancy to college can reduce racial gaps in both I.Q. and... MORE

Comments on the Possible Swindle

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Several interesting comments on this post. The puzzle is this: let X be the correlation between parental IQ and children's IQ. Let Y be the correlation between the child's IQ and the child's future earnings. Let Z be the correlation... MORE

Is This a Swindle?

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Brad DeLong writes, If inherited genetically-based IQ were the source of the extra edge that the children of the rich get in our society, than we would expect a parent with 4 times average lifetime full-time earnings--say $200,000 a year--to... MORE

Mentioning IQ and race

Economics of Education
Arnold Kling
My latest essay tries to sort out the issues of race, IQ, and education. Earlier, I said that my preferred approach is individualism. To understand this approach, try this thought experiment: imagine if everyone suddenly were afflicted with group-identity amnesia.... MORE

More on IQ

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Stephen J. Ceci writes, Each of us gains every year approximately .3 of an IQ point (6 IQ points every twenty years), and this has been found for nearly 30 nations. It was a secret before Flynn and others made... MORE

The Topic du jour

IQ in Economics
Arnold Kling
Lots of stuff showing up on IQ and genetics these days. The New York Times has a story. “Let’s say [hypothetically] the genetic data says we’ll have to spend two times as much for every black child to close the... MORE

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