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

ISBN-13: 978-0275975104 ISBN-10: 027597510X

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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: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,730,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

TATU VANHANEN is Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Tampere and Docent Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Helsinki, Finland.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

168 of 194 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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105 of 129 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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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Darwin Bronowski on October 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who spends time watching TV news or reading any publication is struck by the amount of poverty and uneven development in the world. According the U.S. World Factbook, many nation in Africa have life expectancy little above 40 years old. Half of the population of India is illiterate and a majority of the populations of China still live in the rural countryside with annual incomes in the hundreds of dollars.
What causes the great differences in wealth and poverty between the world's nations. I personally have wondered many of these questions over the years, as I am sure many others, of the wealth and poverty of nations. That's why Professor Lynn and Professor Vanhanen book seems to be a bolt of lightning out of the blue on the issue of Wealth of Poverty of Nations. Book is pricey but definitely worth the cost.
The Wealth of Nations can be assessed on three areas:
1. Natural Resources. Land, Oil, Diamond, Agriculture, Fishing, etc.
2. Planned versus Market Economies. Planned, controlled economies have brought poverty to North Korea, Russia, Eastern Europe, Cuba, China. Professor Lynn compares North to South Korea where income in south is 15 times higher than the north. In fact, there is now famine in North Korea.
3. National IQ of population.
IQ and Wealth of Nations dwells on the third component between National IQ and Economic Development. The author's ideas are original and are to be commended for a doing a full academic study.
The UK IQ of 100 is used as standard measure. The lowest measured is in Guinea (IQ, 59), Nigeria (IQ, 67) and highest in Japan (IQ, 105) and Hong Kong (IQ, 107).
Of note, readers will find IQ interesting if not debatable such as India (IQ, 81) Iraq (IQ, 87) Mexico (IQ, 87) US (IQ, 98) and Israel (IQ, 94).
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