Saturday, May 03, 2008

IQ and The Wealth of Nations

GDP per capita vs. IQ
Top 20 Countries for Average IQ

IQ by country, click on map above to enlarge (green is highest, yellow is second-highest).

Source: "IQ and The Wealth of Nations" entry
on Wikipedia


At 5/03/2008 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is obviously some correlation, but from the graph it looks like IQ is an independent variable.

This is not neccessarily true.

For example, IQ is determined with proper nutrition in childhood (which is determined with GDP per capita, among others)

So the relationship can be completely opposite (GDP as the independent) or even much more complex (third variable problem)

Anyway, interesting post...

At 5/03/2008 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention the abundant criticism of the IQ test as a means of measuring intelligence...

At 5/04/2008 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

US not in the top 20. Interesting.

At 5/04/2008 9:26 AM, Blogger K T Cat said...

It makes sense that the US would not be in the top 20 as it is a amalgam of all the world's populations. You'd expect the US to be somewhere in the middle, biased upwards due to the benefits of wealth, right?

At 5/11/2008 5:29 PM, Blogger Arcane said...

For example, IQ is determined with proper nutrition in childhood

Proper nutrition is not the *sole* determinant and it's ridiculous to assert that it is. The general consensus in the scientific community is that genes and the environment are about equal in their influence upon IQ... I think environment is overemphasized.

At 5/18/2008 4:52 PM, Blogger nirm said...

While I agree there is pretty good correlation between IQ data from different countries and not just wealth (and a host of other outcomes). However, the variability of raw data may be exaggerated due to the effect of physical, economic, social, political and intellectual environment where the different groups live. My haunch is that, the scores of people living in sophisticated environments are boosted upwards, while on the other hand, the scores are depressed for those that live in more primitive environments.

Sophisticated environments – like those found in First World metropolitan areas - provide constant intellectual stimulation and practice for its population. This partially explains the higher scores for highly urbanized small countries, like Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan (with world class cities) even when compared to co-regional but mostly rural China and also vis-à-vis other large advanced countries of the First World with a less urbanization.

Then of course there are other cultural differences at play, East Asian’s in the high scoring regions are known to value education and practice more then Western populations. They also have very homogenous and very culturally cohesive populations.

In short, the differences in IQ data and its correlation to wealth of nations may be real, but the data and the implied causality may be exaggerated. This is the only positive view I can take when I look at this otherwise depressing data. The conventional wisdom that assumes that improving the environment, by transfer of knowledge from more advanced societies may help close the gap in wealth outcome, may be even more valid now.

At 9/01/2009 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The current wealth and health distrubution by country reinforce how paramount IQ, race and culture affect daily life. Higher IQ populations have created more durable CULTURES which allows greater wealth. Vice versa, poor countries have created cultures that promote division, poor self esteem and ultimately poverty. I would expect the "efficient/good" culture counties to widen the gap over "inefficient/bad" cultures. Thus, places like Africa and India will become poorer and fully developed countries to become even wealthier. The segment of numanity who suffers the most in the economic downturn are the world poor. Sadly, Culture is based entirely on Race or Race determines Culture and it is Culture (not IQ)that determines our daily life and wealth and hapiness. The reason for the disparity in wealth is CULTURE.


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