Thursday, December 14, 2006

IQ: Unmentionable but Important

Prof. J.P. Rushton has an excellent review here of Richard Lynn's latest monograph: IQ And Global Inequality. Rushton calls the book "The Most Important Contribution To Economic Understanding Since Adam Smith". The book shows that around half of the variance in wealth differences between nations can be accounted for by the average intelligence of the populations of those nations. It is screamingly politically incorrect to say that poor nations are poor in part because of their low collective IQ and you are unlikely to read it anywhere other than here but all the evidence shows that it is the truth, nonetheless.

Lynn is an emeritus professor of psychology in Northern Ireland and his book is no mere rant or expression of opinion. It is an exhaustive treatment of the scientific evidence for and against his thesis.

IQ is not the only factor in determining which countries are the rich ones, of course. Capitalism (degree of economic freedom) is the other big factor. And China is an excellent example of that. The Chinese are on average one of the world's most intelligent populations and now that they have gone capitalist in their economic system, they are leaping ahead economically.

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