The authors, of the book ”IQ and the Wealth of Nations” Prof. em. in Psychology Richard Lynn and Prof. em. in Political Science Tatu Vanhanen, advance the hypothesis – based on an amount of seemingly reliable data – that the intelligence of the population has been a major factor responsible for the national differences in economic growth and for the gap in per capita income between rich and poor nations. This theory has never been previously proposed. Theories attempting to explain the economic gap between rich and poor countries have assumed that the people of all nations have the same mental abilities. Generally, this assumption has been implicit and the possibility that there might be differences in intelligence between peoples of different nations has been ignored.

The authors show with facts that these views are mistaken and they seek to show that there are large differences in intelligence between nations, and that these differences are systematically related to economic growth and that this relationship is causal.

The problem of why countries differ in economic development and why some countries are rich while others are poor has been discussed for the last two and half centuries.

The theories propose that climate, geography, modernization processes, psychological attitudes, culture, dependency of poor nations in the capitalist world system and market economies are significant or decisive determinants of economic development. A factor that has not been considered hitherto are the intelligence of the population.

The authors have assembled and provide data and analysis that there are a causal relationships between national IQ and economic disparities. It also has to be accepted that there will inevitably be a continuation of economic inequalities between nation. Intelligence differences between nations will be impossible to eradicate because they have a genetic basis and have evolved over the course of tens of thousands of years.

The result of their analysis show that the strong correlation between national IQ and per capita income has persisted at least since 1820. This gap between rich and poor countries will remain and may well still become larger rather than decrease.

The diagram below – as an example of the analysis – show the result of the regression analysis of Real GDP per Capita 1998 on National IQ for 81 Countries in a group of 81 Countries. For 34 countries the deviation from the regression line are large. The analysis regarding this are focused the additional factors that causes the deviation. It is a rather lengthy analysis that I will not go into here. In the book these are presented as well as the relation national IQ and economic growth for larger groups of nations as well as the IQ-data for the countries in the research.

For all full presentation of the research data, analysis and conclusions you have to read the book:


See also:

Exponential correlation of IQ and the wealth of nations Richard E. Dickerson in Elsevier (discussion of the correlation analysis in this diagram).

Critical discussion;  The Economic Journal by  Astrid Ervik, IQ and the Wealth of Nations

See also: Summary on Wikipedia with critical remarks.





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