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IQ and the Wealth of Nations (Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence) [Hardcover]

Richard Lynn , Tatu Vanhanen
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 51.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Feb 2002 Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence
Lynn and Vanhanen test the hypothesis on the causal relationship between the average national intelligence (IQ) and the gap between rich and poor countries by empirical evidence. Based on an extensive survey of national IQ tests, the results of their work challenge the previous theories of economic development and provide a new basis to evaluate the prospects of economic development throughout the world. They begin by reviewing and evaluating some major previous theories. The concept of intelligence is then described and intelligence quotient (IQ) introduced. Next they show that intelligence is a significant determinant of earnings within nations, and they connect intelligence with various economic and social phenomena. The sociology of intelligence at the level of sub-populations in nations is examined, and the independent (national IQ) and dependent (various measures of per capita income and economic growth rates) variables are defined and described. They then provide empirical analyses starting from the 81 countries for which direct evidence of national IQs is available; the analysis is then extended to the world group of 185 countries. The hypothesis is tested by the methods of correlation and regression analyses. The results of statistical analyses support the hypothesis strongly. The results of the analyses and various means to reduce the gap between rich and poor countries are discussed. A provocative analysis that all scholars, students, and researchers involved with economic development need to confront.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood Press (28 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 027597510X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275975104
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 680,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"Endorsement From J. Phillippe Rushton Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Professor of Psychology, University of Western Ontario: [A] brilliant integration of economics and psychology that illuminates the nexus between mental ability on the one hand, and national wealth, industrial productivity, and well being, on the other. This is a book that social scientists, policy experts, and global investment analysts cannot afford to ignore....Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen's thesis is stunningly engineered to allow for no error of inference and no possible outcome than the correct one, strangely overlooked until now...IQ and the Wealth of Nations does for the study of human diversity and achievement among nations what The Bell Curve did for IQ and achievement in the USA.

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In this chapter the major theories that have attempted to explain the causes of the inequalities in income and wealth between nations are reviewed. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth serious consideration 22 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
On balance, I think this book makes a valid point, and it deserves to be read. Collating the volume of IQ data that they did, and analysing it in an objective manner, was in itself a considerable achievement. Moreover, if one has any doubts about their methods and their data, the authors have provided an 18-page bibliography listing all their sources, which are largely from the peer-reviewed scientific literature. I have pursued some of these, and have found them to have been fairly represented in the book.

The reason why it evokes such strong emotions is because people would prefer to believe that such differences in mean IQs do not exist, and indeed, it would be a nicer world if they did not. But to deny the possibility that such cognitive differences might exist is like denying the existence of mosquitoes, simply because one does not like them. Viewed from the angle of evolutionary biology, and given that intelligence is the outstanding trait that has evolved in mankind and allowed them to dominate the planet, it would be more extraordinary if such differences in mean IQ did not exist. There have been several measured attempts to demolish arguments such as these, assigning all differences to environmental and cultural factors ('Guns, Germs & Steel' by Diamond, 1997, is a good example) none of which are entirely convincing. If you scratch away at many of these objections that purport to be objective, and you will often find a religious undercurrent, that such theories must be wrong because mankind is somehow special.

My major criticism is that the authors of this book talk about IQ when they should say average IQ, and in so doing, play down the spread of IQs.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark book 15 Sep 2008
Since about 25 years of IQ-research, this is the only book which is making a substantial difference. Around 1980 the last but one step forward had been made by Arthur Jensen, Hans Jürgen Eysenck, Helmar Frank, Siegfried Lehrl and myself in discovering the relationship between elementary cognitive tasks and IQ and hence working memory storage capacity. We had to wait long fo such a new breakthrough, and we are waiting still for even a far greater one, the discovery of the genes underlying psychometric intelligence.

Even I myself, active in this field for 40 years, till then did believe that the low mean IQ scores of some populations were mainly the result of inadequate sampling and environment. Since I read Lynn and Vanhanen, I am convinced that population differences are not mere artefacts.

In 2002, after the publication of "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" by Lynn and Vanhanen and the preliminary reports of PISA 2000, I became aware that PISA tests can be understood as IQ tests and that the transformation of PISA scores into IQ results yields very similar numbers. PISA scores, mean 500, standard deviation 100, can easily be transformed into IQ values, mean 100, standard deviation 15, by adding or subtracting the deviation from the mean in the relationship 100 : 15 = 6.67, that a mean of PISA 433 corresponds to IQ 90, PISA 567 to IQ 110, if PISA 500 is set to be IQ 100. Heiner Rindermann in his publications has confirmed that PISA transformed scores of nations are nearly identical with IQ means, published by Lynn and Vanhanen in this book.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule), the law of the vital few, states that, for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Breakthrough in the Field of Economics 4 Mar 2008
This landmark book solves what is probably the most important question in economics, namely what factors determine the level and growth of national income per head. Previously it was believed that the main determinants were the quantity and quality of the capital stock. In Prof Lynn's excellent book he completely redefines our view on the determinants of national income and concludes that the main determinant is the quality of a nation's labour force, as proxied by its average IQ.

With hindsight this should not have come as a surprise given that about 70% of the national income is paid as remuneration to labour. It also should not surprise us that intelligent, motivated labour forces might be more likely to accumulate capital, develop new technologies and embody them in the capital stock.

Prof Lynn has collated the results of IQ tests in 81 countries and, by estimating the IQs of a further 104, has compared GDP per head to average IQs for a sample of 185 countries. He explains at the microeconomic level how IQ is a useful predictor of an individual's income. He then extends this to the macroeconomic level and shows that a nation's IQ is the most important determinant of its GDP per head.

Prof Lynn's work is also very useful in identifying other variables that determine national income, such as free market vs socialist economies. The nations that are significantly below the IQ regression line are the former socialist nations of Eastern Europe and China, whereas the nations above it are the European and North American market economies. Prof Lynn therefore convincingly explains all the nations that over or under-perform and, in so doing, provides an unintentional but powerful argument in favour of the market economy.

Prof Lynn's work is such a breakthrough that it clearly merits a Nobel Prize. Regrettably, given the current prejudiced political climate, this is unlikely to be forthcoming.
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