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

Author

Listed:
  • Garett Jones

    (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)

  • W. Joel Schneider

    (Illinois State University)

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 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Garett Jones & W. Joel Schneider, 2005. "Intelligence, Human Capital, and Economic Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," Development and Comp Systems 0507005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0507005
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Human Capital; Intelligence; IQ; Education;

    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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