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Intelligence, Human Capital, and Economic Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach

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  • Garett Jones
  • W. Schneider

Abstract

Human capital plays an important role in the theory of economic growth, but it has been difficult to measure this abstract concept. We survey the psychological literature on cross-cultural IQ tests and conclude that intelligence tests provide one useful measure of human capital. Using a new database of national average IQ, we show that in growth regressions that include only robust control variables, IQ is statistically significant in 99.8% of these 1330 regressions, easily passing a Bayesian model-averaging robustness test. A 1 point increase in a nation’s average IQ is associated with a persistent 0.11% annual increase in GDP per capita. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:11:y:2006:i:1:p:71-93
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-006-7407-2
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intelligence; Human capital; Economic growth; O47; J24; I20;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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