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Are people in the South less intelligent than in the North? IQ and the North–South disparity in Italy


  • Daniele, Vittorio
  • Malanima, Paolo


Socioeconomic disparity between North and South Italy has been recently explained by Lynn (2010) as the result of a lower intelligence quotient (IQ) of the Southern population. The present article discusses the procedure followed by Lynn, supplementing his data with new information on school assessments and per head regional income. Genetic North–South differences are then discussed on the basis of the most recent literature on the subject. The results do not confirm the suggested IQ-economy causal link.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele, Vittorio & Malanima, Paolo, 2011. "Are people in the South less intelligent than in the North? IQ and the North–South disparity in Italy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 844-852.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:844-852 DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.08.017

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arcaleni, Emilia, 2006. "Secular trend and regional differences in the stature of Italians, 1854-1980," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 24-38, January.
    2. Felice Emanuele, 2005. "Il reddito delle regioni italiane nel 1938 e nel 1951. Una stima basata sul costo del lavoro," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 3-30.
    3. Garett Jones & W. Schneider, 2006. "Intelligence, Human Capital, and Economic Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 71-93, March.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-668, September.
    5. Weede, Erich & Kampf, Sebastian, 2002. "The Impact of Intelligence and Institutional Improvements on Economic Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 361-380.
    6. Jerik Hanushek & Dennis Kimko, 2006. "Schooling, Labor-force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 154-193.
    7. Ram, Rati, 2007. "IQ and economic growth: Further augmentation of Mankiw-Romer-Weil model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-11, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masci, Chiara & Ieva, Francesca & Agasisti, Tommaso & Paganoni, Anna Maria, 2016. "Does class matter more than school? Evidence from a multilevel statistical analysis on Italian junior secondary school students," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 47-57.
    2. Emanuele Felice, 2013. "Regional income inequality in Italy in the long run (1871–2001). Patterns and determinants," UHE Working papers 2013_08, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
    3. Herbst, Mikolaj & Rivkin, Steven, 2013. "Divergent historical experiences and inequality in academic achievement: The case of Poland," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-12.

    More about this item


    Intelligence quotient; Italy; Regional disparities; School attainments;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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