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IQ and the Wealth of Nations Hardcover – February 28, 2002

45 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0275975104 ISBN-10: 027597510X

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Editorial Reviews


"Endorsement From J. Phillippe Rushton Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Professor of Psychology, University of Western Ontario: [A] brilliant integration of economics and psychology that illuminates the nexus between mental ability on the one hand, and national wealth, industrial productivity, and well being, on the other. This is a book that social scientists, policy experts, and global investment analysts cannot afford to ignore....Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen's thesis is stunningly engineered to allow for no error of inference and no possible outcome than the correct one, strangely overlooked until now...IQ and the Wealth of Nations does for the study of human diversity and achievement among nations what The Bell Curve did for IQ and achievement in the USA.

About the Author

RICHARD LYNN is Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Now with the Whitfield Institute, among Professor Lynn's earlier publications are Dysgenics (Praeger, 1996) and Eugenics (Praeger, 2001).

TATU VANHANEN is Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Tampere and Docent Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Helsinki, Finland. The author of four earlier books, he concentrates on the comparative study of democratization, evolutionary roots of politics, and ethnic nepotism and conflicts.


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Product Details

  • Series: Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (February 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 027597510X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275975104
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

178 of 208 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The book's content is irresistible - at its heart is a table of the average IQ scores of 81 different countries, drawn from studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The national average IQs range from 107 for Hong Kong to 59 for Equatorial Guinea.
Lynn and Vanhanen benchmarked their IQ results so that Britain is 100. America scores 98 on this scale, and the world average is 90. IQ's are assumed to form a normal probability distribution ("bell curve") with the standard deviation set at 15. Here are a few examples:

Nation Avg. IQ
Eq. Guinea 59
Nigeria 67
Barbados 78
Guatemala 79
India 81
Iraq 87
Mexico 87
Argentina 96
US 98
China 100
UK 100
Italy 102
Japan 105
Hong Kong 107
Admit it, you want to know what the rest of the table says! Beyond satisfying sheer curiosity, though, the strong correlation between IQ and the wealth of nations is of world-historical importance. From now on, no public intellectual can seriously claim to be attempting to understand how the world works unless he takes IQ into account.
How much can we trust these IQ results?
As soon as I received the book, I turned to Appendix 1, where Lynn and Vanhanen describe all 168 national IQ studies they've found - an average of just over two per country.
Are the results internally consistent? In other words, when there are multiple studies for a single country, do they tend to give roughly the same answer?
I expected a sizable amount of internal divergence. I spent 18 years in the marketing research industry, so I know how expensive it is to come up with a nationally representative sample. Further, Lynn and Vanhanen use results from quite different IQ tests.
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110 of 136 people found the following review helpful By J. P. Rushton on March 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This brilliantly conceived, superbly-written, path-breaking book, does for the global study of economic prosperity what Herrnstein and Murray's (1994) The Bell Curve did for the USA. IQ and the Wealth of Nations examines IQ scores and economic indicators in 185 nations. It shows that national differences in wealth are explained first, by the intelligence levels of the populations; second, by whether the countries have market or socialist economies; and finally, by unique circumstances such as, in the case of Qatar, by sitting atop a sea of oil.
One striking fact is that the average national IQ of the world is 90. Few nations have IQs equal or near the British average of 100 (less than 20%). The highest average IQs are found among the Oriental nations of North East Asia (IQ = 104), followed by the European nations (IQ = 98), and the mainly White populations of North America and Australasia (IQ = 98), the nations of South and Southwest Asia from the Middle East through Turkey to India and Malaysia (IQ = 87), the nations of South East Asia and the Pacific Islands (IQ = 86), the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean (IQ = 85), and finally by the nations of Africa (IQ = 70). Because many nations have IQs of 90 or less (almost 50%), this poses a serious problem if the book's conclusion that IQ = 90 forms the threshold for a technological economy is correct. IQs can vary greatly within a geographic region. In Latin America and the Caribbean, IQs range from 72 in Jamaica to 96 in Argentina and Uruguay, and appear to be due to the racial and ethnic make-up of the populations.
... Mean national IQ correlates 0.71 with per capita Gross National Product (GNP) for 1998, and 0.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Volkmar Weiss on August 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Since about 25 years of IQ-research, this is the only book which is making a substantial difference. Around 1980 the last but one step forward had been made by Arthur Jensen, Hans Jürgen Eysenck, Helmar Frank, Siegfried Lehrl and myself in discovering the relationship between elementary cognitive tasks and IQ and hence working memory storage capacity. We had to wait long fo such a new breakthrough, and we are waiting still for even a greater one, the discovery of the genes underlying psychometric intelligence.

Even I myself, active in this field for 40 years, till then did believe that the low mean IQ scores of some populations were mainly the result of inadequate sampling and environment. Since I read Lynn and Vanhanen, I am convinced that population differences are not mere artefacts.

In 2002, after the publication of "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" by Lynn and Vanhanen and the preliminary reports of PISA 2000, I became aware that PISA tests can be understood as IQ tests and that the transformation of PISA scores into IQ results yields very similar numbers. PISA scores, mean 500, standard deviation 100, can easily be transformed into IQ values, mean 100, standard deviation 15, by adding or subtracting the deviation from the mean in the relationship 100 : 15 = 6.67, that a mean of PISA 433 corresponds to IQ 90, PISA 567 to IQ 110, if PISA 500 is set to be IQ 100. Heiner Rindermann in his publications has confirmed that PISA transformed scores of nations are nearly identical with IQ means, published by Lynn and Vanhanen in this book.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule), the law of the vital few, states that, for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
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