IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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

  • Garett Jones

    (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)

  • W. Joel Schneider

    (Illinois State University)

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 modern intelligence tests are well-suited for measuring an important form of a nation’s human capital. Using a new database compiled by Lynn and Vanhanen (2002) along with a Bayesian methodology derived from Sala-i-Martin, Doppelhofer, and Miller (AER, 2004), we show that national average IQ has a robust positive relationship with economic growth. In growth regressions that include only robust control variables, IQ is statistically significant in 99.8% of these 1330 regressions, and the IQ coefficient is always positive. A strong relationship persists even when OECD countries are excluded from the sample. A 1 point increase in a nation’s average IQ is associated with a persistent 0.11% annual increase in GDP per capita.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0507005.

in new window

Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0507005
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 48
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Kevin D. Hoover & Stephen J. Perez, . "Truth and Robustness in Cross-country Growth Regressions," Department of Economics 01-01, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  2. Jonathan H. Wright, 2009. "Forecasting US inflation by Bayesian model averaging," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 131-144.
  3. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
  4. Leamer, Edward E, 1985. "Sensitivity Analyses Would Help," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 308-13, June.
  5. Weede, Erich & Kampf, Sebastian, 2002. "The Impact of Intelligence and Institutional Improvements on Economic Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 361-80.
  6. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  7. Eric A. Hanushek & Dongwook Kim, 1995. "Schooling, Labor Force Quality, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Garett Jones, 2006. "IQ in the Ramsey Model: A Naive Calibration," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_063, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. Fabio Milani, 2008. "Monetary Policy With A Wider Information Set: A Bayesian Model Averaging Approach," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-30, 02.
  10. Gary Koop & Simon Potter, 2003. "Forecasting in Large Macroeconomic Panels using Bayesian Model Averaging," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/16, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  11. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  12. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  14. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
  15. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  16. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  17. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2002. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-3, January.
  18. Temple, Jonathan, 2000. "Growth Regressions and What the Textbooks Don't Tell You," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 181-205, July.
  19. 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.
  20. Charles Murray, 2002. "IQ and Income Inequality in a Sample of Sibling Pairs from Advantaged Family Backgrounds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 339-343, May.
  21. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  22. Bleaney, Michael & Nishiyama, Akira, 2002. " Explaining Growth: A Contest between Models," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 43-56, March.
  23. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  24. Leamer, Edward E, 1983. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
  25. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis & Melissa Osborne, 2000. "The Determinants of Earnings: Skills, Preferences, and Schooling," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-07, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. IQ and Global Inequality in Wikipedia Czech ne '')
  2. IQ and Global Inequality in Wikipedia Swedish ne '')

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0507005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.