Through A Glass Ceiling Darkly: Racial IQ Disparities And The Wealth Of Nations

Now that I’m done with the Necessary Caveats, it’s time we had a look at why exactly HBD/IQ theories are both valid, and relevant to the real world. As I see it, their main import (as interpreted by me) can be distilled into a few logically consecutive, falsifiable statements:

  1. IQ tests are a valid, culturally fair measure of cognitive ability.
  2. It is hereditary.
  3. Race is real.
  4. There are racial/ethnic differences in average IQ that cannot be explained merely by reference to socio-economic or cultural factors.
  5. The US is an excellent “laboratory” to ascertain the average genetic IQ ceiling of different races and ethnicities.
  6. Average IQ influences prosperity, and general living standards.
  7. Consequently, knowing the racial constraints on average IQ’s – i.e., the IQ ceilings – we can estimate the relative development potential of different countries and regions.

All of them have have acquired a great deal of supporting evidence, even though they – or in particular, their linkage – remains taboo for the media and wider public discussion. By the numbers:

1. There is typically a large degree of correlation between various IQ tests, and academic achievement scores (1, 2). Nobody has yet discovered a test which has a negative correlation with a battery of other tests. This implies that there is a common “g factor” behind all types of cognitive ability.

Obviously this allows for very big variations within a single person. But within a group, someone who does well in one test will most likely also do well in another.

The argument that IQ tests are culturally biased is frequently made on the basis that they show differences in performance between racial/ethnic groups. This is a fallacy. In any case, there are IQ tests designed to be culturally fair insofar as they eschew words and test pattern recognition, such as Cattell Culture Fair III and Raven’s Progressive Matrices. These tests have a high correlation with the battery of other tests, i.e. they are valid reflections of g.

2. The scientific literature converges on a range from 40%-80% for IQ heritability. (1, 2) The correlation in scores between twins reared apart is around 75%-80%.

3. Is race a social construct? The commonsense answer is no. Consider that beyond the “my lying eyes” stuff (e.g. skin color/melanin content; epicanthic folds, etc.), there is also evidence of genetic differences in: Physical abilities (west African sprinters; Kenyan marathoners); conformity (Asians); lactose tolerance (whites); alcohol intolerance (Asians); even average penis size (large – Africa; Latin America; small – East Asia). The latter example isn’t nearly as… flippant as it seems, since testosterone levels have a large effect on behavior. There are multiple genetic disorders that only affect certain races or ethnicities, and race specific drugs are now coming online.

But ultimately, this is one of those cases where a picture is worth a thousand words.

This is a genetic map of Europe, superimposed on a geographic map (remarkable how it works out almost perfectly). Note that although there is some degree of overlap between European ethnicities, there are still clear clusters and centers of gravity corresponding to particular nationalities.

Now look at this genetic map (click to enlarge). See that dark blue oval to the center-left? That is Europe. Recall that even within that tiny space there are distinct clusters, with virtually zero overlap between, say, Greeks and Germans. Now note the vast distance that separates Europe from East Asia (center-right), and the three African clusters (bottom).

So it’s really just a minor matter of semantics. Some people shy away from using the word “race”, instead speaking of “genetic clusters”, “population groups”, “groups of common geographic ancestry”, etc. “Race” is short and convenient.PI

4. There is a vast body of global IQ scores (e.g. Lynn). They follow a consistent pattern: East Asian countries tend to score 105, European and Euro-settler countries 100, and sub-Saharan African countries 65-80.

The internationalized standardized PISA tests display the same pattern (as expected, since they load on the same g).

(Internationally, I think the culture argument makes some interesting points. E.g., the Protestant work ethic – reflected even now in the fact that the world’s richest and highest-IQ white countries tend to be Protestant. But there are two problems. First, possible narrative fallacy, e.g. Confucianism, with its connotations of traditionalism and conservatism, was once used to explain why Asian countries lagged behind Europe; but with their success in the past generation, the respect for learning, rule of law, etc. that it supposedly instilled is now sometimes used to explain their success! Can’t have it both ways. Second, what applies in one period can wane in another. Yes, Protestantism fostered human capital development by emphasizing independent Bible reading (i.e. more literacy!), which in turn helped early industrial growth. But today this effect seems to have receded into the past – see the success of south Germany, north Italy, France, Ireland.)

5. The US is an excellent “laboratory” to estimate the average genetic IQ ceiling of different races and ethnicities by virtue of its diversity; standardized education system that produces results that, when broken down by race, are superior to almost every other country in the world; decent equality of educational opportunity; no nutritional deficit among any population group; and post-Flynn effect status.

Within the US, all tests of cognitive ability – IQ, PISA (1, 2), SAT – replicate the global pattern. Though there is variance from test to test, but as a rule, the intelligence hierarchy is as follows: Asian-Americans; whites; Hispanics; blacks. The gaps between Asian-Americans and whites are narrowed than internationally (because Asian-Americans also include medium-IQ peoples like Filipinos and Vietnamese); and the gaps between whites and blacks are narrowed (because, unlike African or Haitian blacks, African-Americans enjoy better nutrition and education.

It must also be noted that whereas most of these tests indicate that Asians closed gaps (in reading, writing) and overtook whites (in math) over the years, there has been no sign of any significant convergence for blacks.

Is it because schools in poorer areas (inner city, where NAM’s cluster) are badly funded? No, per student funding tends to be broadly similar for both inner city and suburban schools. Besides, education funding doesn’t play a major role in results. In Italy, there is no correlation between school funding and performance by province. China gets PISA and IQ results higher than America’s despite spending a tiny fraction of the resources that the US lavishes on each of its pupils. Indeed, it probably doesn’t matter much, as IQ tends to be fixed by the age of the 5.

Is it because blacks come from poorer families on average? IQ is a far more persuasive explanation for why people are poor in the first place. Refer to The Bell Curve (Murray & Herrnstein).

US blacks (85-90) get far better IQ scores than Africans (65-80). These two facts are highly important because in Africa, the IQ’s of many populations are currently constrained by poor nutrition and (in some cases) the different psychologies of pre-industrial and illiterate peoples. In practice, and discounting variation (Africa is the world’s most genetically diverse continent, so it is not impossible that there will be some relatively high-IQ subgroups among them), it seems likely that the average IQ ceiling for African blacks is similar to the actual IQ’s of US blacks. I.e., maybe 85 (lower than 85-90, because US blacks have 20% admixture with whites).

US Hispanics score better than Mexicans or Central Americans, displaying IQ’s (or IQ equivalents) in the low 90’s (Mexico: 88-90; Panama: 84-80). Whites are at around 100. Asian-Americans tend to be in the low to mid 100’s, but there is huge variance (East Asians – higher; South-East Asians – lower).

7. Refer to Education as the Elixir of Growth III. There is a 0.43 correlation between the GDP (PPP) per capita of a country with its PISA/TIMMS scores, which rises to a stunning 0.84 once countries with a post-Communist legacy (low outliers), resource windfalls (high outliers), or offshore financial industries that constitute the bulk of their GDP (high outliers) are removed from the same. (Any correlation of >0.5 is an excellent one in social science). This implies a fairly rigid glass ceiling on GDP per capita for any one country in relation to its IQ. It’s largely invisible, as few people appreciate the importance of human capital to growth, but it’s most certainly there.

At the micro level, the g factor tends to be by far the best indicator of job performance (above grades, interviews, references, etc) – not only in “cognitive elite” jobs such as lawyers or physicians, but also to a significant extent even among menial workers. There is a correlation of 0.9-0.95 between employees in a certain profession and prestige ratings of those professions by the general public. The correlation between IQ and income is around 0.4-0.5.

The importance of average genetic IQ ceilings

We have a fairly strong and convincing (to me anyway) theory that average IQ ceilings depends on race, and that IQ (g, PISA scores, etc) are remarkable closely correlated with economic prosperity. Furthermore, it is almost certain that the causation is largely one way, at least once basic nutritional and literacy problems are solved; otherwise, the Chinese and Koreans would not be outperforming US Hispanics or African-Americans.

Following from the graph of Human Capital Index and income above, there seems to be a point past 450 – about 92.5, in IQ terms – at which (market-based) economies transition from middle-income status, to high-income. If Mexico could raise its human capital to about the levels of their compatriots in the US, this would (going by correlations) enable a massive expansion in its productivity.

Unfortunately, the average genetic IQ ceiling for African blacks is 85, maybe 90 at most. Nonetheless, if Africa could consistently raise it to even the former figure, it would then have a degree of human capital equivalent to today’s Brazil. Though true convergence with developed countries is precluded, reaching Brazil’s levels would be a gargantuan improvement for the living standards of the average African.

In general, it should be possible to construct a “potential IQ” (and corresponding potential GDP per capita level) for each country. They would look something like this (PISA/IQ format):

  • US (500/100) – All racial groups are already performing very close to their genetic potential (Asian-Americans (NOT East Asians) – low 100’s, whites – 100, Hispanics – low 90’s, blacks – high 80’s). The challenge will be in maintaining it (due to Hispanic immigration).
  • China (550/108) – It currently has 103(PISA converted into IQ)-105(IQ), but may still eke out a few more points by totally eliminating malnutrition. Should have no problem in becoming as rich as Korea or Japan with one more generation.
  • India (450/92.5) – Very low (and puzzling) 75(PISA)-82. But also malnutrition is still extremely high, as are endemic diseases; the vegetarianism of a significant portion of the population may also have a negative effect (protein aids brain development). My estimate is that average Indian genetic IQ ceiling is similar to Hispanics, but with huge variance due to caste/ethnic diversity.
  • Russia (500/100) – Moderate score at 95(PISA)-97(IQ). Smaller than ethnically similar Poland (99/100), due to 2 possible factors: (1) Academic focus to exclusion of more general g (Russia does much better on TIMMS, PIRLS); (2) Possible effects of highly prevalent alcoholism on the current cohort being tested. Poland’s score may represent a more accurate “Slavic ceiling.” Natural GDP per capita level would seem to be in between the Germanic countries and the Med, but resource windfall would nudge it closer to the former.
  • Brazil (460/94) – Today at 87(PISA)-85(IQ). Capping off the BRIC’s, the potential is derived by taking the estimated genetic ceilings of US blacks (with adjustment for Brazilian blacks having more admixture) with Med Europe ceiling, and weighing by population ratios.
  • Germanic Europe (520/103) – based on current scores, but will face challenge in maintaining it (due to immigration policies).
  • Med Europe (490/99) – based on Spain, Portugal, Italy results. In a way, one can see the Euro crisis – which is mostly affecting the PIGS – as the invisible hand’s way of bumping down the Med countries to a level more in line with their lower human capital (relative to the Germanic countries).
  • Turkey (470/96) – now at 91(PISA)/93(IQ), but potential based on Greece’s current scores; Turks and Greeks genetically similar.
  • Japan (530/105) – as now, no significant change as immigration is low. But economic difficulties due to debt, negative population growth, ballooning elderly dependency ratios.
  • Israel (?) – is globally irrelevant but a really fascinating case study, complicated by the discrepancy between Ashkenazi Euro-Jewish IQ scores (c.115) and Israel’s mediocre performance of 95(IQ)/94(PISA) which is hard to explain as Ashkenazi Jews still make up more than half of Israel’s population. Also lots of demography has to be taken into account. Deserves a separate post.
  • Australia, Canada (520/103) – as now, but will NOT face difficulties maintaining them because of their Cognitive Elitist immigration policies; as they also enjoy resource windfalls, they will probably do economically better than the rest of the developed world.

Based on the figures above, we can expect that the BRIC’s nations should in principle be able to converge to developed country levels. However, there are two major groups within the BRIC’s. China and Russia are already at a human capital level that enables convergence (China’s is significantly higher, but Russia is already richer, and also has the added bonus of a resource windfall). In contrast, Brazil and India are not currently at human capital levels that enable convergence; however, they do both have the potential to raise them to just the levels needed to break out of the “middle-income” trap and converge. But for that they have to develop their human capital to its full genetic potential. The quantity of the needed change is very significant and, even under rosy assumptions (e.g. +3 IQ points a decade until equalization with genetic potential), the process will take decades. Until they at least the low 90’s, they will remain stuck – especially Brazil, because it is already very rich for its human capital level – with fairly low long-term growth rates.

Whatever their average genetic IQ ceilings, it is highly advisable for all the poorer and low-IQ nations to: (1) improve childhood nutrition (e.g. free vitamin pills at schools seems especially low-cost/high-impact); (2) anti-vegetarian propaganda, where such applies; (3) study the experience of foreign countries, esp. the US which has had a lot of success with maximizing NAM scores, and Finland which (at least on PISA) manages to maximize white scores; (4) explore pharmaceutical and technological means of bridging their IQ gaps with the developed world (e.g. nootropics).

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Just don’t touch the racial issues, man… You opening a Pandora’s box.

    You will be labeled “racist Karlin” for years and decades now. 🙁

  2. 2. Heritability on an individual level doesn’t mean anything on a group level. Especially not something multifaceted like IQ which is definitely not decided by only one gen. Take height for example which on an individual level is absolutely heritable but on a collective level seems to be purely enviromental

    Post Flynn effect.
    The US is not post Flynn. It just regressed so it stopped improving. See for example average height in Scandinavia and areas in the US populated by Scandinavians. In the past US Scandinavians were bigger, now their smaller. Can’t be genetic (time is to small) so it is more the environmental factors in the US that stopped improving but

    ps. Do you have an average height to IQ map. Would be interesting (as in Asians/Europeans who are big are also intelligent)

    • There does seem to be a correlation but it’s very small (R2=.2). I think this is consistent with malnutrition having a substantial effect on IQ among the worst nourished, whose share of the population in developed countries today is negligible but substantial at other times and places (e.g. pre-1960 US, today’s India).

      High heritability among individuals is not perfect but strong evidence for heritability in groups. Furthermore, there is regression towards the group mean within groups, which would be very strong evidence of heritability at group level.

      The US is not post Flynn. It just regressed so it stopped improving.

      ?? Stopped improving is kinda equivalent to being post-Flynn. I.e., all the magic that better nutrition / (other unidentified environmental factors) work on mean IQ seem to have been exhausted. Europe has basically converged with the US in nutrition (current differences in height between US and Europe are tiny). Both are now unable to squeeze out any more significant IQ gains out of better nutrition.

      • It is not the same because the reason is differently

        Post Flynn: People life in the best environment for high IQ.

        American reality: Environment could be improved but is not happening so IQ is not increasing

        • In my experience people are much more tolerant if you talk about the heritability of height than that of IQ. Its measurement is also much less controversial. So please read height instead of IQ in my previous comment.

  3. This has given me a lot of pause over Lynn and the “strong” heritability position in general:

  4. You posit a potential IQ of 92.5 for India. I have no idea what India’s average IQ is, though there’s enormous room for speculation-Steve Sailer is continually fascinated by this question. Any thoughts from readers on this question, given India’s mind-boggling genetic diversity?

    • One of the common explanations is that, indeed, the low average IQ hides significant geographic differences and massive caste differences.

      The problem is that the PISA tests do not back up that premise. Not only did India perform very badly (IQ=78, when converted from PISA), but there were NO students from Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (the two Indian states that participated) who performed at Levels 5-6 in Math. A middling European country, like France, had 3.3% performing at L6 and 10.4% at L5.

      To forestall a common objection, PISA did sample private schools. They did about 40 points better than the public ones, but even so, that would only raise India to Brazilian levels. (Besides, since it is middle-class – also, almost by definition – higher caste Indians who send off their children to private schools, they would be expected to have higher IQ’s in the first place as IQ is correlated with socio-economic status).

      Which is of course puzzling. IIRC, the average IQ of Indian immigrants to the US is something like 112, and there are a fair number of them. They are very prevalent in business and universities. It produced half the world’s religions and figures like Ramanujan. It seems very odd that a country capable of producing so many individual very high-IQ people would also consistently an IQ about 80, including in the richer and more developed states like Tamil Nadu (though then again having a billion-strong pool to draw from helps).

      This deserves a separate post with more research.

  5. Some thoughts on various issues:
    1) I’m CERTAIN that the poverty/economic depression/(possibly) poor education are almost certainly depressing the scores of former Communist nations (esp. Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria- possibly Poland, Lithuania, etc.). These nations will almost definitely see their scores rise as the middle class lifestyle takes hold (Russia is already on its way, Poland is probably nearly there…). I could imagine Russia being near Germany in 30 years…
    2) whatever India’s ‘potential IQ’ is, it’s certainly being massively depressed due to the horrible poverty that India’s citizens are condemned to.
    3) with the exception of Turkey, parts of the former USSR (Tatarstan scored well), and POSSIBLY Iran (their TIMSS score was low, but they have the potential to improve in a generation), the Islamic world is one huge basket case [not just in terms of test scores, but in economic+scientific development] for the foreseeable future

    • 1) I agree. I suspect that Russia can rise by 20-30 points to the Slavic ceiling set by Poland. Whether it can rise by 50 points to meet Germany warrants more skepticism.
      2) I agree it’s massively depressed. Taking sub-Saharan Africans as an example, they lag 5-25 points behind US Blacks. Since India has even more malnutrition that sub-Saharan Africa, as its current IQ is 75-80, that translates into a potential IQ of 80-105. The midway point is 92, maybe 95, which would make a lot more sense.
      3) Haven’t looked at the Muslim/Arab world in any detail. Indonesia, at least, seems similar to India (even better; today, it scores at Brazil’s levels).

      • I think it is one thing to look at the potential and say that certain group can make it there one day, it is quite another to see that it would do so anytime soon. Take government. The British and their offshoot, the U.S, became so dominant in the world partly because we have very good government(comparitively to the rest in the same time period). Yet, if you look at the former British colony of India or countries like liberia, who model their initial government after the U.S., things have not exactly worked out. People with lower genetic endowment create micro climates that then further depress their IQ etc. This is true even though they are handed some of the best government on earth while other countries must make do with decrepit socialist models like the formal soviet states. The good schooling that NAMS got in the U.S, can’t be easily transported to a region like Haiti or Liberia. Poverty is a condition produced by having people with low genetic endowment that are self governing. You can’t separate it out and said only if we remove poverty, the IQ of these folks would rise. South Africa was smart enough to keep the whites arround, but that is not an option for most(most poor places don’t have any worthy minerals to be exploided by high IQ folks) and the inequity it causes creates a lot of resentment fromt the majority ( Indonesia).

        It is simply wishful thinking to talk about IQ potential like that.

        • American system of government is incredible crappy.
          The reason why the US is so rich is having good natural resources and not having experienced WWI and II

        • What ever the faults of the U.S. system, it was decidedly superior to other systems during the rise of the U.S. WWI and WWII explained the descrepency right after the war, so what is the excuse for Europe 70 years after WWII? For that matter, Japan still failed to catch up to the U.S. after all this time.

          • (1) Germany, France etc. are equivalent to the US per capita once adjusted for lower working hours and labor participation rates.

            (2) Japan is, indeed, a puzzle. It has very high manufacturing productivity, but its services sector is very inefficient. All E. Asian societies tend to under-perform relative to their IQ levels. Why? Maybe other factors come into play, e.g. conformism; prioritization of keeping all hands busy vs. making them more efficient.

            • AK,

              Yes, I have seen numbers that show that they earn the same after accounting for them working less. However, if you look at this another way, you arrive at the same conclusion I had. Look at the biggest most dynamic companies in the world and see how many are American and how many are European. You will see that the U.S. is home to the lion share of the world’s most dynamic companies. Diddo for new start ups and new industries. In fact, while the Europeans and Japan are competing over old industries, the U.S. had grown whole new industries that exists nowhere else. the computers, the internet, yahoo, facebook, new ways to extract natural gas, the list goes on and on, For Europe, with a bigger population base, you can count these companies with maybe one hand. The U.S. did this with a handicap of an ever larger share of NAMS (at least compared to Japan).

              • The US has a frequently underrated advantage: Economies of scale. This applies especially to the “innovative” IT industries.

                For instance, Yandex was actually founded a year before Google, and at the beginning was actually superior to it in many technical aspects. But due to Google’s access to 10x bigger Anglospheric market it will always be much bigger than a Yandex or a German Google etc.

                Otherwise, I don’t see major differences. The US got to fracking first (probably as a result of lax regulations and favorable geology; the practice itself is environmentally questionable). But there are other examples where it isn’t in the lead. Japan and China are ahead in electric vehicles; Germany and Japan in machine tools; etc, etc.

                One more thing: The US does have more NAM’s, but it also has more Ashkenazi Jews. 🙂

              • AK,

                I think economics of scale does not explain all or even most of the success of the companies in the U.S. versus Europe and Japan. Take the drug industry(the legal kind). The Europeans have a combined market size that rivals the U.S. They also have a number of drug companies that are successful and big, but at the end, the most dynamic ones are in the U.S. In my own industry the electronics, Both Europe and Japan have shrunk significantly over the last ten years to a shadow of their former selves. In contrast, it was the Koreans and the Taiwanese, both with major handicap in terms of scale, that took the cake, in the case of Taiwan, TSMC of ASICS and Samsung for RAMS. The financial industry( you can say it is good or bad, but at least there were quite a bit of innovation going on. and with inovation comes excess and risk) European and Japanese companies have a lot of money in their banks, but it was the U.S banks that lead the inovation. A look at farming, now there, scale does play a bigger part, but there was spectacular innovation mostly from the U.S. that made food very accessible to virtually everyone. You would think that the Europeans would play a bigger part than it did based on their own albeit fragmented population base. Who led the innovations in the retail business(Waltmart, costco, Fries, etc) I can go on, but I beleive there is something besides genetics that differentiated the U.S. from others. And yes, you are correct about the Ashkenasi Jews.

              • Drug industry needs time and experience. Eastern Europe hasn’t had time for it to develop so old Europe and the US have about the same population and drug companies.

                Electronic industry runs on cheap labor and cheap brains. That is why Taiwan and Korea are booming right now and why China will boom in 10years time.

                Banking industry innovation was mostly based in London. But can you speak about innovation if it isn’t an improvement?

                Innovation in retail? Walmart isn’t successful outside the US unlike Carrefour, lidl, Aldi, IKEA

              • Charly,

                Banking inovation was happening in both London and New York, but not in the other european countries. In fact, the whole idea of home mortgages and other payment plan schemes originated in the U.S. after WWII.

                The electronic industry does not just rely on cheap brains. In fact, the cost of a foundry, running from 5 to 10 billion each for current and not too far into the future nodes, is hugely capital intensive, the cost of labor is a minor part of the cost. Something that the U.S. should do well. But the outcome defies such categorization.
                Walmart, being a relatively late comer is doing pretty well internationally.

                AT the end, one can be dismissive about each example, but when I look at the totality of the evidence, I see companies that are much more dynamic over the decades in the U.S. compared to Japan and the U.S.

              • The reselling and packaging of mortgages isn’t something new. What was new (and stupid) is doing it without retaining risk for the original underwriter. But i wouldn’t call that innovative.

                Electronics industry not chip industry. It works on getting cheap loans and being environmentally not in front.

                Walmart is from 1962, Carrefour 1959. But supermarkets didn’t exist before 1950 so that is not to surprising. Lidl 1973 Aldi 1961

              • Charly,

                Please read carefully. I was not referring to the packaging of the mortgage, but the idea of the 30 year mortgage it self.

                Carrefour might have started the same time as Walmart, but their effort to go aboard started much earlier than Walmart. Walmart, due to their easy access to local markets in the United States, did not look at the international market until much later.

                Chip making is part of the electronic industry. Now you are blaming the lax environmental laws? What happened to cheap labor? If cheap brains were so important, why did not any electronic industry start in India? Instead, most of them are in the United States. Today, if you look at Broadcom, Qualcom, Marvell, Intel, Nvidia, all the big ones are in the U.S. Please don’t make just so statements about an industry that you know nothing of. it just makes you look bad.

              • Chip baking is a whole other industry which mostly needs cheap money. And India is cheap but does it have brains?

                ARM, NXP, STMicroelectronics are all European. And the American just have a less bad year than the other countries as they are strong in the only growing chip market, mobile phones. But they will loose that market to the Chinese.

              • ARM is doing well and I would count it as one of the more dynamic companies. NXP and STM, both with about 5 bill market cap, is comparable to mid size electronic companies in U.S. Like I say, the European electronic industries are a shadow of their former selves.
                I brought up India in response to your comment about cheap brains. They may not be genetically endowed, but they also don’t have much outlet for what brain power they do have. In the electronic industry, most big boys now have India design centers to take advantage of this. Many countries subsidize their electronic industry, Malaysia, Dubai comes to mind. Europe also subsidize their electronic industry, to no avail. If you look at TSMC, you will see that subsidy play a very insignificant role in their rise.

                In any case, I think I have made the case that the U.S. has the most dynamic companies compared to Europe and Japan. Have a nice day.

              • below_freezing says

                I disagree with the whole “electronics is innovation” idea. TSMC is still a contract manufacturer with little core technology of its own. It’s just a step up from shoes and sweaters. If Taiwan was sanctioned tomorrow they’d fall apart within days. The materials processing equipment used to manufacture the chips is all European and Japanese, made by companies like ASML and Tokyo Electron.

                In fact, Taiwan’s and South Korea’s ability to create semiconductor processing machinery is much less than mainland China’s (which can manufacture 90 nm steppers – see here: That is because China is being sanctioned and is forced to produce everything itself, just like Russia, even if not quite modern; 90 nm is still 21st century. Neither Taiwan nor South Korea can create a photolithography machine.

                Taiwanese companies have very low profit margins. ACER and ASUS are major Taiwanese notebook manufacturers with over 20 billion in revenue each, yet their profits added together are not even half of Chinese telecom hardware giant Huawei – Huawei made 4 billion in profit in 2010 while ACER and ASUS together made only 479+390 million. That is because Taiwanese companies are mostly assemblers and don’t work at the core technology level, while Huawei does.

                Samsung is different. They have alot of core technologies, but again, if South Korea was sanctioned, they’d fall apart because they depend on Europe and Japan for capital machinery. Whoever controls the technology for the capital machinery controls everything. They can sanction other countries, other countries cannot sanction them.

                Electronics is not just about having a shiny cell phone or even a RAM chip. It’s an integrated and most of all, independent supply chain (if your country was sanctioned tomorrow, would your electronics industry still be able to produce?). Only 4 countries can say that they have an integrated electronics supply chain from silicon to software: US, Japan, China, EU. Just because something isn’t popular in the market doesn’t make it low tech, and just because something sells on the market doesn’t make it high tech. It’s ludicrous to even suggest that Taiwan and South Korea are more “high tech” than Japan and EU. They’re not in the same league. They’re not even playing the same game.

              • Below Freezing,

                Of course in modern high tech industry, everyone is dependent on everyone else. What is your point? It is little solace to a company such as NEC that someone in their country is making the equipment that they used so, in case of sanctions, they would be able to continue, when in fact this possibility is remote and they are being squeezed out of the business they used to be in.

                the 90 nm node is a relic that few if anyone uses anymore. below it are 65, 45, 32/28 22/20 and now we are working on 14 nm. What is so good about being able to do something which is already absolete but have no chance of competing with the state of the art competitor any time into the future?
                Back to my original claim, I said that U.S. companies are more dynamic compared to European and Japanese ones and that economy of scale of the host country is not the major factor in this dynamism. I never made any claim that the Taiwanese or the Koreans are not vulnerable to sanctions, however remote that possibility. But you can’t deny that TSMC and Samsung are both very dynamic companies and number one company in their respective field.

                In a modern world alliance, South Korea and Taiwan are both considered part of the west and would never fear sanctions from Europe or Japan. You have imagined a remote scenario with no real world significance while these companies are smashing out their competitors and slowly making these products a monopoly.

              • Taiwan is 50% Chinese (as in came from China after WWII) and that is especially true of the rich and important. One of the main reason why it hasn’t reunited with the motherland is that this independence allows China to fondle forbidden technology. If there ever breaks out a war in the South China Sea (not something unlikely) than i will expect Taiwan to support the mainland (but doing this unofficial may be of greater help)

                South Korea has anti-American elements which are very hardcore. After reunification those wont be tempered by the need for support against the North. Korea will also have a population almost the size of Japan and being so close to China will need protection. But having nukes(which they can because of the North) is a much better strategy than being allied to state that is likely to confront China. (remember Beijing is very close to the Korean border)

          • On a current exchange rate basis Japan’s per capita GDP was actually higher than America’s for the decade between 1987 and 1997. It actually peaked in 1995 with per capita GDP in Japan at 153% of America’s. Of course in PPP adjusted dollars the average American was wealthier during that time though. The same phenomenon can also be observed in the German economy where even after unification there were on and off years where German per capita GDP was higher than America’s.

            The enduring advantage of American prosperity is because of two factors. The relatively freer economic environment condition compared to Europe. In other words it is more capitalistic and less socialistic which is conducive to more economic output given similar demographic profiles. The second is that America is blessed much in the way that Australia and Canada are at having a natural resource bounty though now not so much. Population density in America is much lower than Europe or Japan and the cost of rents and real estate is lower leaving people with more disposable income. Norway is much wealthier than Sweden because of it’s North Sea oil bounty and while America is not THAT blessed it does have far more natural resources per capita compared to Europe or the Far East. The so-called natural resource curse is much overstated. There are simply nations and peoples capable enough to capitalize it and others who are too dense to do anything but squander it.

            By the way AK, this new comment system is terrible. I had to write this up in notepad because the comment box would not scroll properly with the text so I couldn’t see half of what I was writing.

            • It is called Dutch disease for a reason. I have seen them as number 4 in the list of most intelligent country in the world. So you want to claim that 3 countries are smart enough for it?

              • No, Dutch disease is not the same phenomenon. That is a rise in currency valuation due to natural resource exports causing a theoretical decline in manufacturing competetiveness. My arguement is that more natural resources always makes a people materially better off.

              • What you give is an explanation for what cause Dutch disease. Not what it is. Besides i think that it is not the major effect that cause Dutch disease.

              • Jennifer Hor says

                Dear Duke of Qin,

                If Charly and I follow your argument that natural resources make a nation better off, how then do you explain how Japan’s manufacturing took off during the late nineteenth century and then again after 1945 without that country having much in the way of natural resources like coal and iron ore? Similarly South Korea had fewer natural resources than North Korea when President Chung-hee Park embarked on an industrialisation drive; now look at which of the two Koreas is successful and which is the basket case. Look at Chile with its natural resources like copper and tin too; that country doesn’t have a significant export manufacturing sector. Ultimately it boils down to political resolve (whether a government or a leader has a vision as Park did and others like Stalin too) and whether the government is free to carry it out without interference from other countries.

              • Jennifer,

                Japan and South Korea would have been and continue to be better off if they had a natural resource bounty.

                I in fact agree with AK that the fundamental resource absolutely required to achieve an industrial, or post-industrial society, is human capital and by that I mean the average cognitive potential of it’s population.

                Extra resources is just icing on the cake.

              • You can compare the Netherlands to Denmark and Flanders and this leads me to state that Japan and South Korea would be worse of with more natural resources.

                Would even claim that Japan was never a colony because it had no natural resources

              • Netherlands is the one with a lot of gas and the one that is the poorest of the three

            • Sorry about the comments system, but there really is nothing I can do about it. My blog is hosted at

              It might be that a laxer economic climate creates minor advantages, but it has to be balanced against a range of other factors:

              (1) Hours worked and labor participation – once adjusted for that, as pointed out above, many W. European countries like Germany and France equalize with the US.

              (2) The economies of scale the US enjoys. The dollar’s status as a global reserve currencies (i.e., no losses on exchanges during trade). The cheap land due to a relatively low population density, and probably the best natural transportation system of any major nation (Great Lakes/Mississippi, plenty of great harbors).

              All the factors in (2) are modest by themselves, but in aggregate they surely add up to a significant figure.

  6. An interesting post AK (as was the previous post on race denial, racism and race realism). I think the debate on race has been poisoned by the past (racism/discrimination) and the fact that scientifically the term has taken on different meanings such that the term itself is almost the equivalent of “Monera” (which would now include Bacteria and Archaea) or “Protists”. Terms which have some residual use, but whose old meanings no longer reflect reality. For instance the old meanings of race would imply that there about a few races (Negroid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid) with the classification later expanding to 5 (with the addition of Malayan and American/Amerindian) and then 7 races (with Australoid and Capoid included). Given human migration and evolution and various genetic studies it would seem that most of that is basically bunk as there are indeed distinct genetic populations of humans and definite morphological differences. But these differences means that classifications such as “blacks” and “asians” is for the most part too wide ranging. In Africa there is a lot of genetic diversity (more so than in other parts of the world) which would mean that a person from say the difference in genetic diversity between a person from say Senegal and someone from central Congo might be a lot greater than one would find for someone from Portugal and someone from Poland or even Kyrgyzstan.

    With that in mind this might be part of the reason why Sub-Saharan countries have such a wide range in IQ scores according to your post (65-80). When one considers the difference between the IQ scores you report for East Asian countries (around 105) and European countries (100) the difference isn’t all that great (only 5), whereas the difference within Sub-Saharan Africa is significant (a difference of 15!) and the difference within persons of African descent (those living in Sub-Saharan Africa and those in the Americas) the difference is even greater (25!). I’m sure other factors account for the difference (childhood nutrition and so on), but it would be interesting to map the specific IQs by country and compare it to tribal maps, language maps, literacy maps, disease maps (malaria, dengue, polio, hookworm, sickle cell, thalassemia, trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, river blindness, schistosomiasis, tapeworm diseases (cysticercosis, taeniasis), levels of industrialization maps and maps of mitochondrial DNA haplogroups and Y-chromosome haplogroups. I suspect that lifestyle and disease have a significant impact in Africa, India and Latin America. And the legacy of disease can last a long time. The Sickle Cell Trait for instance seems to have originated spontaneously in parts of the Old World (Africa, India and Europe) and was probably spread through migration and trade. As it conferred an advantage in the heterozygous instance against malaria it established itself in the populations as a result. But now thousands of years later, without the need for the trait to protect against malaria and even with admixture with populations that did not historically have the trait, African-Americans tend to have more instance of sickle cell disease than other populations in the United States; apparently 1:500 African-American births are afflicted by Sickle Cell Disease (and thus more actually have the trait in the heterozygous condition) whereas only 1:36,000 Hispanic-American births are afflicted by Sickle Cell Disease. Since even the carriers can experience the symptoms (in low oxygen environments or when dehydrated) there is every possibility that this disease could be affecting brain development in even those with the trait and not the full-blown disease which in turn could be affecting the IQ scores. It would be interesting to see IQ tests done which controlled not only for socio-economic factors but also for disease factors (so taking the IQs of African-Americans of the same socio-economic background but with one set having various diseases which could affect development and another set without those diseases). Just looking at some of the diseases which apparently affect African-Americans more ( and I can see that a number of the diseases are related to respiration (asthma, sickle cell disease, sarcoidosis, lung cancer) and circulation (heart disease, diabetes to an extent, high blood pressure, strokes). What effect might these diseases have on brain development, especially before the age of 5 in the case of asthma and sickle cell?

    It would also be interesting to see the IQ scores for Native Americans (whose ancestors originated in eastern and northeastern Asia) under the prevailing conditions for Native Americans today (which tends to be pretty bad even by minority standards in the USA) and under ideal conditions of nutrition, etc.

    Relating IQ to childhood development factors before the age of 5 (socio-economic, health and nutrition, education) might provide an even clearer explanation for just how much genetic differences actually account for any overall differences in IQ observed between groups and for the disparities observed in IQ among adults in different groups today.

  7. sinotibetan says


    Thanks for your interesting comments. With regards to sickle cell heterozygous, it’s quite plausible that minor sickling and micro-vascular occlusion – even if ephemeral – may affect the brain but I’ve not read of any studies considering this plausibility. You are right in stating certain diseases in certain populations may have affect on the IQ scores however, even sickle cell itself is of genetic aetiology and other conditions that you mention having greater tendencies to affect blacks – eg. bronchial asthma and diabetes mellitus – may have underlying genetic predisposition as well. Hence, I think it’s not so easy to ‘substract’ these out to find out how much genes affect IQ disparity.

    Regarding thalassaemias, the southern Chinese have higher frequencies of thalassaemia – homozygous and heterozygous while its at a very low frequency in Northern Chinese. I am not sure if there are IQ disparaties between these two groups.


    • I know a lot of those diseases may have an underlying genetic predisposition, but it should still be fairly easy to subtract them out so to speak to find out how much genes directly affect IQ. After all if it was the case that a lot of those diseases are having some effect on brain development before the age of 5, or have affected the mothers to such an extent that they end up having children with smaller than expected or smaller than average body weight (and probably affecting the babies brains as well) then it would be a case of IQ having some direct genetic component (which may account for a 1-5 point difference in IQ between various people) and having an indirect genetic component via genetic predisposition to diseases that affect brain development or weaken the mothers thereby resulting in children with smaller body weights (which may account for the rest of the IQ differences observed of between 5-25 points).

      “Regarding thalassaemias, the southern Chinese have higher frequencies of thalassaemia – homozygous and heterozygous while its at a very low frequency in Northern Chinese. I am not sure if there are IQ disparaties between these two groups.”

      I seem to recall AK discussing the PISA scores for China and mentioning that the highest scores were in Shanghai and that northern China generally scores more highly than southern China. What you are stating about thalassaemia in southern and northern China would seem to back up what I’m saying – that there might be a link between some of the IQ disparity observed and various diseases which people have a genetic predisposition to.

      • Not really. Genetic disease discovery has a very big OECD skew

        • Elaborate. Because I was referring to diseases such as sickle-cell anaemia, asthma, coronary heart disease, thalassaemias and diabetes for which a genetic component has already been discovered indicating greater predisposition in certain people. So I’m not referring to discovering unknown genetic diseases outside the OECD countries, but to well known diseases for which a genetic component is already known.

          • Sickle-cell anaemia was found in the US, an OECD country. If a genetic aberration is rare in the OECD it is unlikelier to be found than a common one. Especially if it is not that big of a deal.

            • Okay, but you still aren’t properly elaborating. What does the discovery of diseases decades ago have to do with finding how they might adversely affect an individual and thereby lower the potential attainable IQ? Sure it (sickle cell anaemia) was discovered in the US, but it was discovered in an immigrant from outside the OECD. Given a lot of persons not native to OECD countries actually live in OECD countries and as a result of migrating could be bringing various alleles that predispose them to various diseases (diseases which at some point the scientific community and health authorities are probably going to take even a vague interest in) then there seems to be an unlikely prospect that genetic disease discovery would only benefit OECD countries.

              Besides, as I’ve already outlined the diseases I was referring to have already long since been discovered and are known to affect persons in the OECD countries and in the rest of the world. Getting rid of malaria and attempting to screen against diseases like sickle cell and possibly asthma may actually go quite some way (in combination with proper childhood nutrititon) in raising the potential IQ around the world.

    • Doing a quick search it seems that there have been some studies which have linked asthma to development in children:

      There was another link but it seems to be down and I can’t find a google cache or webarchive entry for it:

      If children with asthma are reported to have higher incidences of ADHD, depression, learning disabilities and missing ten or more days of school I could see how other diseases could have a similar effect and the cumulative effect would be to depress the IQ in groups more predisposed to having those diseases (like southern Han Chinese, African-Americans, Indians in India as opposed to Indians who migrate to the United States). I would be quite willing to bet that if a study was done on IQ scores among African-Americans who have no history (personal or family history) of diseases like sickle cell or asthma and those that do we would find a noticeable difference in IQ and pointers towards measures that would really help – i.e. proper nutrition in children before the age of 5 and attempts to reduce the triggers which can set off the symptoms of the disease which may affect brain development (reducing pollution for instance, phthalates and various other chemicals) and early screening for the diseases and early treatment.

      Will we still see IQ disparaties? Most likely. Just as how various other features have a genetic component as AK outlined (sprinting, marathon running, alcohol intolerance, lactose tolerance, etc) I wouldn’t be surprised if IQ had some amount of genetic component. Would the disparaties be as great as presently observed? I don’t think so. We might even see

      Ultimately a government in any country could work towards lowering the genetic incidence of the diseases altogether by encouraging couples to get genetic counselling (perhaps even offering tax incentives for couples that do?) and genetic screening of sperm and egg cells (for which couples could also get tax incentives maybe?). This would lead to lots of backlash about “designer babies”, but if the incentives are only for screening against harmful diseases as opposed to screening for specific traits (green eyes or cleft chin) then such opposition wouldn’t really have any weight behind it (and the parents could still opt for random selection of the gametes which don’t carry the alleles associated with these diseases. In the long run such a program should actually have a positive feedback since children born as a result of screening against such diseases should generally be more successful in life as a result of not having their development (both for the brain and the body in general) hindered as a result of the diseases and they in turn may end up screening their own gametes against alleles associated with disease. Also since the parents of these children would get tax incentives and have children who would not get those diseases they would have more money to spend on each child (from the money saved via tax incentives and not having to pay for constant doctor’s visits and medication for asthma or diabetes) and could potentially have enough money to spend on having more children. In the case of diseases which have no genetic component (like malaria) the solution has been obvious for some time (insecticide-treated bed netting, sterile insect technique and engineering of resistance to malaria in mosquitos). Once you eliminate malaria you remove a dibilitating disease that could have an effect on IQ in Africa (and thereby depress Africa’s development prospects) and you also eliminate the main enviromental reason for the sickle cell traits continued persistence (yes it would persist even after malaria is eliminated as is proven in African-Americans; but without malaria it becomes much easier for a government to encourage genetic screening against the sickle-cell trait without malaria being around to encourage natural selection in favour of the trait).

      • Why tax incentives. Healthy kids is enough.

        Also sickle cell is associated with lower IQ due to brain infarcts

        • The tax incentives was in reference to a discussion under another (I think in the previous related post on Race Denial vs. Racism) on eugenics and attempting to reward people for having children. They could range from tax breaks on a number of items for children or a rebate to simply making the counselling and screening process tax free. They wouldn’t be necessary (hence I asked them as questions) but if a trial was run and it turned out using tax incentives got more people to take up the counselling and screening process then that would be one option on the table that a government could use.

          • How could i forget that Americans don’t have health insurance. Otherwise it would absolutely not make sense as it would one of the most cost effect health care programs

          • Jennifer Hor says

            Hello Hunter,

            Another option might be to look at what some Jewish communities in North America do. When two Jewish people decide to marry, the rabbi or matchmaker encourages them to go for genetic counselling. This is because so many eastern European Jews are carriers of Tay-Sachs disease which kills small children through paralysis if they inherit two copies of the gene from both parents, in a way similar to how sickle cell anemia is inherited. There is an organisation called Dor Yeshorim that offers genetic counselling and screening to Jews in the US and Israel.

            So it would be an idea for governments in places like the UK and Australia where cousin-2-cousin marriages are common among some ethnic groups to initate genetic counselling programs through religious organisations and their leaders and preachers, and get out messages to their congregations with incentives like tax breaks, social services or legal / financial services that emphasise making proper will and creating family trusts. Youth groups might be another way for governments to contact people about genetic counselling services as well. A lot of people in ethnic communities don’t trust governments (because they may be refugees from countries that treated them badly) so you have to contact them through an institution they trust, like the local church, temple or mosque.

            Marriages between cousins or between nieces and uncles usually occur among groups that are highly religious and/or are very socially conservative; they’re not necessarily poor or lacking in much education. They may actually have accumulated considerable wealth and real estate and are keen to keep it all in the family and not disperse it to potential enemies and marriages between relatives are one way of retaining wealth.

            • Yes, that is what I was thinking actually – genetic counselling so as to attempt to reduce the frequency of sickle cell (both the disease and the trait).

              And browsing the latest issue of Discover there is an article in there about an initiative to fight hunger through breeding nutrient-enriched crops using traditional breeding techniques. Notably it says that “some 65% of African and Southeast Asian children have iron deficiencies that can lead to anaemia and fatigue” and that “Iron deficiency is a huge problem in the central African countries of Rwanda and the DR Congo, where in some provinces up to 50% of children are anaemic” and “for years global aid groups have distributed vitamin A capsules to children in…Zambia, yet more than half of them still suffer vitamin A deficiency”.

              If 65% of children in a given area are suffering iron deficiencies and up to half of them can suffer anaemia, just what kind of effect would this have on brain development? Especially considering that the children in question would probably be suffering iron deficiency from birth and that potentially more infants could be suffering iron deficiency if their mothers are also suffering iron deficiency. This could partially explain why South East Asians tend to score lower on IQ tests (both in SE Asia and in the US since most SE migrants don’t necessarily arrive before the age of 5 and probably having suffered some amount of iron deficiency in life).

  8. Those white genes are mostly from Dixie. Doubt that would have an positive effect

    High income is not compared to other countries but the economy itself. Seeing from that standpoint it is easy how all low income nations can be lifted up

  9. Interesting. Admittedly it still sickens me to see black flaws laid bare, and scrutinized. I won’t let that stand in the way of learning though. I’m a robert lindsay cast-away, and quite possibly, an ant-white racist. Now that that’s out of the way……
    I like your even handed relatively hopeful assessment of black cognitive potential. My disagreements are pretty small, and mostly based on numbers and projections. I think you’re still(very slightly) low balling SSA cognitive potential. I think this is more than just speculation also to say so. I start by willfully rejecting Lynn’s numbers in favor of Wicherts. Second, I look as the fastest growing(population-wise) nations also sport the highest iq numbers. Kenya and Nigeria respectively have numbers of 80 and 84. These are places that still have major environmental deficits. I think it’s a reasonable expect that after all environmental issues are corrected for them to get to ~87, and 92. Given that these countries will account for the lion’s share of the SSA population, I think low 90s is somewhat realistic.

    Thanks for entertaining

  10. ” ■India (450/92.5) – Very low (and puzzling) 75(PISA)-82. But also malnutrition is still extremely high, as are endemic diseases; the vegetarianism of a significant portion of the population may also have a negative effect…” (AK)

    To increase India’s IQ potential from 82 to 92.5 (staggering 10.5 points), AK made an unconvincing point. The excuses given by AK (malnutrition, diseases, etc.) can be used for any Sub-Saraha country and lead to the same old question that is “are they the causes of low IQ or the effects”?

    That is to say that 10.5 point increase, so called some years of quick fixed on diet and environment, is about equivalent to thousands of years evolutions by Hands of God. Is that rational?

    It’s very easy to refute this claim of AK from many angles, e.g.
    i) If so, then say any average Nigerian kid (or any 75-IQ African country) can just immigrate to USA to get extra 10.5 IQ points in his adulthood like AK does to Indians . So he now has 85.5, even slightly better off than an average American Black(85) who has a significant Euro admixture?

    ii) if this Nigerian with newly-acquired 85.5 IQ marries a Euro American, their offspring would have IQ of low 90s on average, which is then equivalent to an average IQ of Israelis. I mean wow. What a shortcut of evolution!

    iii) if move an average starving (at least at the same level as malnutritious Indians) North Korean kid to American, will he also get 10.5 extra IQ points to 115.5? Why not?

    iiii) So were Vietnamese refugees historically in USA ?

    …etc. etc. examples are countless.

    All American commenters, e.g. AK, Steve Sailer, and surprise here Robert Lindsey, lol, automatically take Indians as the only exception in global evolution of IQ , why? Don’t you know that Indians you know of, you see in the press or TV, you’ve heard of, you grow up with around you in USA are very very exceptional individuals- “The best faces of India”, mostly having 2-3 SD or more above Indian mean? Hence “The US is an excellent “laboratory” to ascertain the average genetic IQ ceiling of different races and ethnicities” (by AK) is not entirely true in this case.

    Post WWII India was barely touched by the total destruction of the war unlike what it did to Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, Korea, etc, etc. India had then 300m population with relatively a huge land decorated by the best and most extensive railway system (built by the British) in entire Asia in 1946. With its wide commercial network/privileges amongst Commonwealth countries, the practice of democracy, English Laws, independent press and institutions, widely spoke English (the langue franca of int’l commence), no Soviet style Communism, and mild protection ( at least not total boycott) of USA, UK and Soviet, India has enjoyed relatively all the advantages in the world for at least 2 generations till now. There no reason why India is not another Japan today. If it is still a land full of diseases and with more starving people than all Sub-Sahara putting together, one would argue to the extreme (and could be rightly so) that perhaps its potential of growth has almost reached its full potential instead, so has its IQ?

    • The British had a policy of de-industrializing their colonies. British law and institutions are crap (as seen by the “stellar” performance of Great Britain compared to Old Europe after WWII) And a population that in which speaking English is widespread is only recently positive

      • English Law and independent institutions are partially responsible for the modern world we are in. They’ve inspired and helped shaping Hong Kong, Singapore and a LONG list of 1st world countries if I’m not mistaken.

        Yes, English-speaking is only “recently positive”, say 60 odd years post WWII as THE Lingua Franca of entire world commerce. Isn’t that long enough already? I can’t imagine what India would look like today without its only note-worthy Industry,namely English-speaking Call Centre Industry, oh excuse me I meant “IT”, can you?

        Yet by all means please let me know how to de-industrialise railway tracks. I’m fascinated…

        • Jennifer Hor says

          Hello SP,

          Siding with Charly on the de-industrialisation of India here. The best known example is the progressive destruction of India’s textile industry by the English East India Company (later the British East India Company) during the 17th and 18th centuries through a battery of measures such as forcing Indian weavers to sell only to the Company’s agents, progressive quotas and tariffs that punished both weavers and the people who bought Indian-made textile products, and later forcing Indian weavers to use British-made materials for handicraft work. Noam Chomsky and Ha Joon Chang (in “Kicking away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective”) have written about this topic.

          In 1757 the British East India Company gained direct control over the Bengal area which was the centre of textile production. That’s interesting to know because this area and nearby places like Bihar have long been among the poorest parts of India.

          In the nineteenth century British free trade supporters noted how India’s wealth and industry had been destroyed by British trade protectionism and a parliamentary inquiry was held in 1840 to investigate how this destruction had been allowed.

          If you want to see details of how the British went about destroying India’s economy, here is the link:

          One reason Britain built the railway network was to ease British economic penetration into even the most remote parts of India to get people to give up economic self-sufficiency and force or otherwise persuade them to buy British-made textile products.

          As for British law and institutions promoting good governance and stability, how do you explain that the British Commonwealth has member countries where Presidents can reign for over 20 years (Uganda), where the average household apparently must spend a third of its income on paying bribes (Kenya), where a vicious civil war was fought with child soldiers (Sierra Leone), where people can be arrested and thrown into concentration camps (Sri Lanka), where politicians in cahoots with the US can overthrow a legally elected Prime Minister (Australia) and where a Prime Minister can shut down Parliament to avoid answering questions about the conduct of his country’s soldiers in Afghanistan (Canada)?

          • JH,

            I was talking about post-1946, not in the 18th or 19th century.

            Did the Brits tear down major Indian industries to pieces before they left India? No.

            Beyond these fully functioning hardware systems, the Brits have also left India with, perhaps more importantly, several generations vibrantly alive & kicking social/economical intelligencia who were either well-educated to fine degrees in Britain itself or by the Colonial Brits in India, more than enough to make the entire newly independet India up and running.

            And we know what happened and is happening with this New India…just like today’s Zimbabuwe, albeit with a slightly better shape.

            This is even before counting billions upon billions of foreign aid that India has been receiving (without doubt, being the single largest receiver in the world – far larger than ANY Sub Sahara nation) from the UN, Asia Developement bank, the World Bank, IMF, each western nation on its individual level, and counteless charity NGOs for India (some of which are quite large, global in fact), annually, for the last 60 years and counting…the magnitude of this accumulated aid wealth alone is staggering!

            Now go to India to stay a week to see the ground reality, the mass proverty there probably would make that in Haiti look like just OKE, due to lack of the depth and width of India.

            And you tell me that the ceiling of this kind of IQ is 92.5??

            And it doesn’t matter why they built the rails in the first place, for transporting raw materials or welcoming allens from Mars, either way, what matters however, and what’s my argument based upon, is the FACT that India in 1946 had the technologically most advanced and the most extentive railways system in entire Asia LEFT by the British, with probably Japan being the remote second place. Most of these rails are still intact today and functioning like a second-hand Swiss clock, just like 60 years ago. Any population with IQ>= mid/high 80s would have had built upon those long while ago…

            As for your long list of failing states under the British Legal system and Independent Insitutions, perhaps you’d like to guess the corresponding population IQ first ( btw feel free to add India into that list to prove my original point), apart from obvious outlier individual cases happend either in AUS or CAN or ANY other country under the sun inspite of whatever system it follwows. And as you’re at it, are you seriously suggesting AUS and CAN are remotely close to Failed State statue due to the backwarndesss of stone-age British govenence system?

          • georgesdelatour says

            Jennifer Hor

            I’m familiar with the old “rape of India” argument, based around the textile industries. But recently I’ve been reading Gregory Clark (especially “A Farewell To Alms”), and he’s presented a lot of data which undermines it. This article gives some idea of his larger argument:


            Clark shows that English firms like Platts, which made the machinery for cotton textile production, were exporting 50% of their machines by the mid-19th century. They provided foreign entrants to the textile industry with technical information, machinery, construction expertise and managers.

            Many British firms set up textile factories in India, especially in Bombay, because the wage bill in India was less than one sixth of the wage bill in England. In theory, these Indian mills should have made their evil British capitalist owners huge profits – far larger than they could ever make in England. But they didn’t. They mostly proved disastrously unprofitable. Why? When you look at the data, the reason is very clear. The Indian mills had incredibly low output per worker. What actually saw off the Bombay mills was not competition from England, but competition from Japan. Japanese mills, using the same machinery as the Indian mills, purchased from the same English manufacturers like Platts, achieved very high output per worker. The Bombay mills did not.

            Clark is, like Anatoly and yourself, an “institution” skeptic. He doesn’t think countries grow rapidly because of supposedly great institutions. He suspects, like Anatoly, it’s all about the people.

            • Then North Korea, which are the same people as the South Koreans would be a OECD candidate. Is it?

              Great institutions don’t help much but bad ones absolutely will F you up.

            • Jennifer Hor says

              Dear Georges,

              Yes I did a quick skim of the article you cited and also a quick look at an article by Estefania Santacreu-Vasut. She noted that the first cotton spinning mill set up by the British in India was established in Bombay in 1854 which is after the period of my earlier post. So after the British de-industrialised India, they industrialised the country with British management and methods of working.

              As you say and as Clark and Santacreu-Vastut point out, the people make the difference: Japanese textile workers in the 19th century were ethnically homogeneous and mostly young women. The culture that must have existed at the time would make a difference: industrialisation was promoted by the Meiji government as a way of making Japan equal with the Western powers – Japan only had to look at Manchu China to realise that if it didn’t industrialise, it would end up being carved into colonies by the West.

              Whereas in India, the workforce in the cotton mills was ethnically mixed and managers were British and the workers Indian. Manager-worker relations would have been poor and managers relied on jobbers to recruit and supervise workers. Most cotton mill workers were young men (not so compliant as young women). Factory organisation and even external factors like climate (heat and humidity might affect worker productivity and work hours, and even machinery [it might rust faster and need more maintenance and replacement]), the caste system (which might have stymied worker co-operation and encouraged disruptive behaviour) and general resentment against British rule might play a part in low worker motivation and productivity.

              • not so compliant as young women.

                That is the understatement of the year

              • Jennifer Hor says

                Georges, Charly,

                I forgot to provide a link to the Santacreu-Vasut article last night and when I found it, it was too long to reproduce here. The article is at and the title is “The Social Roots of British India Low Textile Labor Productivity”.

                Gosh Charly, I expected Georges to make that remark about the young women.

                Combination of institutions that centralise and concentrate too much political and economic power, people or rather, well-placed individuals with the vision and charismatic personalities to create a cult around themselves PLUS a neighbouring country whose people are exactly like your own, who speak and write the same language you do and who have the same history up to a point, and against whom you compare yourself and compete, is what damns North Korea.

        • Singapore and Hong Kong are Asian versions of the Swiss. What is a good strategy for a parasite is not necessarily a good strategy for the host.

          Not 60 years ago. Speaking English has only been an asset after the fall of the wall.

          • What about Taiwan or Korea? Are they parasites by your definition? I don’t disagree that Hong Kong and Singapore has benefited hugely from being financial centers. But they both also had a fairly large manufacturing sector while they were on their way up until they became too rich to do this stuff.

            Are you saying the Filippine and Korea did not benefit hugely for being part of the Western world after WWII? In fact, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong got their start durng the Korean and Vietnam Wars by supplying war material to U.S. army. Something the Indians (and for that matter, the Pillipinos) could have easily done with their infrastructure.

            • Taiwan and South Korea are not financial centers or trading post. And Korea wasn’t a free trade/capitalistic economy.

              The Philippines were the second most developed/riches country after WWII. It is now slightly more developed than Laos which does indicate that having an English speaking population was a big negative to have between during the cold war.
              Korea was destroyed, occupied and run for 40 years by two dictatorships of which i don’t know which one was worse. The fact that one dictatorship is still running is a direct result of that war to keep Korea in the “Western” world so no, i don’t think Korea benefited hugely from that war. In fact i think the average Korean would be better if the UN wouldn’t have become involved. (Especially because NK is such a basketcase)

    • An average Nigerian kid who moves to the USA but who suffered malnutrition through childhood is unlikely to get a 10 point increase in IQ simply because by the time of the migration he/she has already passed the crucial age of 5 (re-read what Anatoly wrote) and has had a brain and body affected by malnutrition and diseases already. Migrating to a place without malnutrition wouldn’t automatically reset brain and body development. After all humans aren’t starfishes.

  11. I usually follow your posts and consider them well thought out and informative. While I agree that the race issue must be discussed regardless of political correctness, I think you missed the point on this one. I’ll comment my problem with your ideas below.

    2. It is PARTIALLY hereditary. You can’t predict the EXACT IQ score of a son by knowing the IQ scores of his ancestors.

    3. “Race” isn’t real. Genetic differences are real. Whether these differences warrant a human created grouping concept, such as race, largely depends on which differences you are considering worth of grouping. So, the real catch here is that, depending on what you’re looking at (the specific trait or traits), the groups you might come up with will vary, and not necessarily be distributed in the usual “race” groups.

    I believe this difference is far from trivial or a simple “matter of semantics”. The criteria for the choice of traits you’ll use to divide the races is itself very likely to be biased in many ways. Historically, groups of people looked at different traits to differentiate themselves from their neighbors, ignoring what they had in common. To believe that science in general can stand above these issues is naive, as history itself has proved many times.

    Also, you seem to sometimes ignore the fact that statistical estimates aren’t mathematical imperatives. Populational means, no matter how useful they might be for some things, aren’t predictive of individual scores. You can’t say that a specific black person will have a iQ score of, say, 85, based on statistical data She could score a 70 or a 130. Statistical data just doesn’t have that kind of predictive power.

    In the end, the practical use of race as a scientific concept is very narrow when it comes to IQ and other cognitive abilities. On the other hand, it serves as a perfect argument for ignorant racist people who want to believe they already know if a person is smart or dumb simply by looking at them. It’s just not worth it.

    4. I don’t get how you can consider the US, which has a history of segregated schools, the perfect country to ascertain the “genetic IQ ceiling”. You contradict yourself by citing school related data and afterwards dismissing it as unimportant. All in all, the history of the US doesn’t support equality of opportunities among races, after all. It is also completely unclear how this would relate to a supposed IQ ceiling, since it would assume that, for some reason, the US attracted the exemplary individuals of each race (don’t know of any data supporting this, in fact it must be wrong, as I’d believe a congregation of the best of each race should be able to do a much better job at constructing a country than the US population did).

    5. I’m not an expert in all this, but I’ll cite some of the issues I see:

    – In at least ethnically/racially mixed countries, you don’t have any way to truly know people’s ethnicity. I know that my country’s data on the subject is completely subjective, based on each person’s perception of himself, not genetic mapping. Meaning that what you might consider black in the US might not be black here, not to mention the fact that you can’t possibly predict the exact ancestry of many miscegenated people. Consequently, you don’t have data nearly accurate enough to estimate an IQ ceiling. I don’t know how big of a problem this is for other countries, but I imagine this must happen in a few others. Ignore this if you actually used genetic studies for each countries estimates, which i believe is unlikely to be the case.

    – Again, it is troubling to consider that, in the US, all racial groups have achieved equal conditions to reach their “genetic IQ potential” when it comes to social factors. Even when you consider the prevalence of genetics in IQ scores, there is enough room for a significant difference in the estimates you made based on other factors.

    – What would you do with it? Should countries that reach their ceiling divert resources because investing in Education might not be worth it? I don’t think you’d possibly have enough accuracy at such predictions to make them useful at policy making.

    These are the issues that occurred to me immediately. I agree that yes, there are genetic differences relevant to almost all human traits, intelligence not being an exception. But I don’t believe race as a scientific category is necessary or desirable in most cases, especially when you’re discussing human development potential and the social consequences of it.

    Again, I find your posts quite interesting, overall, despite the fact that this time I disagree with a lot of what you wrote.

  12. Surely the only reason there is an IQ increase amongst an ethnic groups upon moving to the west is that only those with high IQs are most likely to be given the opportunity to emigrate becasue they are more likely to be proffesionals. I’m sure most people realise this already, but it’s just the way you talk of it as if migration itself is the factor that changes IQ, rather than the selection bias (ok for offspring it might be different, age 0-5 etc but someone with high IQ in a poor country is likely to be at least lower middle class and able to afford basic nutrition for their kids)

    The developed world generally only allow highly skilled professionals in (although there are exceptions). So plenty of Indian doctors around, they bring their kids, or spouses to have kids, and have high iqs and outperform the locals. On another level, political debates about immigration, seem to assume that ALL migrants have this level of intelligence, which is used by those ideologically in favour of it ( the socialist left and liberal elite) as ‘proof’ that we need more, unrestrained, immigration, “after all every Indian is a potential brain surgeon”, even though restrictions were what benefited the receiving country in the first place. And it also leads to the situation where the very idea of genetics/race and iq can’t be discussed, because to say that Indians or Africans might have lower IQ, the ideologically inspired would respond “what about all those Indian and African doctors in our hospitals, your argument is invalid”. Oh how funny!

    • That explains what happened to the Surinamese when they moved to Holland. (more than half moved) Or the Mexicans in the US. They are all college educated city folk, not hillbillies who Spanish is exactly stellar. And the Turks in Germany are also not dumb farmers from the mountains. And Sicily and south Italy is known for there smart people.

      Rich, well educated people are not normally the ones who migrate at mass. The only counterexamples i can give is Germany in 1848 and during the Nazis, but everybody knows Germans are low IQ people so that is a good explanation why that is

  13. Mass immigration is a major reason why normal people care about general IQ discussion. A typical yet usually overlooked fallacy on IQ related topics is that “the family/relatives and offspring of a high IQ immigrant doctor are also high IQ and will become doctor-alike”.

    Not quite. It depends on the mean IQ of the indigenous population that he/she comes from.

    Mean Reversal of IQ is a 800 gorilla in the room yet an under-discussed topic even in most prominent HBD sites such as Steven Sailer’s. The reason for that seems obvious, who cares about things that will occur 20 or 30 years into the future? Centainly not the political elites.

    Mass immigration to the West is a recent phenomenon say about 20 years or so, thus most immigrants are just 1st gen high IQers (in case of CAN and AUS, worse for the US, the UK) who are far above the local population mean. Due to the facts that i) spouses of said 1st gen high IQers have normally lower or much lower IQ , ii) 50-80% heritability of IQ, and iii) several extra IQ points of Flynn effects due to better nutrition & education, we don’t see a significant Mean Reversal of IQ (back to the indigenous population mean) amongst the 2rd generation so far.

    Give 20 or 30 more years when the third generation come along, I doubt AUS and CAD are such successful examples of mass immigration as AK seems to suggest, due to their massive intake of Indians/South Asians who have population mean IQ of low 80s, in spite of the high IQ of the 1st gen which is just a lucky byproduct of random mutations.

    So the real treat for CAN and AUS are the IQ of 3rd gen of South Asians offspring AND the fast swelling populations of offspring of their relatives (sisters, brothers, nephews, cousins…and their spouses) who come along with them yet usually are not high IQ themselves in the first place.

    • Jennifer Hor says

      Can’t speak for Canada but Australia is already busy outsourcing / bodyshopping jobs and industry to India and China and we are becoming more dependent on mining to the extent that we have an economy where our dollar is overvalued because it is traded so much globally but very few people benefit because the gains are concentrated by mining corporations that lobby the government into giving them more and more concessions at everyone else’s expense: the stiuation is similar to what Charly referred to earlier as Dutch elm disease economy. We have a Sovereign Wealth Fund or something like it but our current government emptied it in the last few years. So we are well on the way to becoming a failed state in spite of our British-derived institutions and customs even before the third generation of South Asians and their relatives arrive here. (The customs include chucking out Australian prime ministers in mid-term with the connivance of the CIA or the US government as was done to Kevin Rudd in mid-2010 and to Gough Whitlam in November 1975. At least Rudd got a job offer from Obama within an hour of getting his marching orders but he refused.)

      In addition Australian government spending on higher education is woeful given that tertiary education is one of our top exports and most universities depend very heavily on foreign students (often 30 – 40% of the student body) for income. Yet something like 60% or over of academics are employed on contracts and don’t have security of employment or adequate holiday or sick leave provisions. In some university or college jobs, a person might be employed on a 2-year contract, at the end of which s/he may have to compete for the same job with another person also employed on a 2-year contract that’s just expired. So by the time that 3rd generation of South Asians gets here, the education system will already be dumbed down enough for them to pass their exams with flying colours.

      We have the situation where Suntech Power in China donates money to the University of New South Wales for renewable energy research as the company founder / UNSW alumnus Zhengrong Shi believes the government here doesn’t support it enough.

  14. The connection between geography and genetics is still a complex and disputed issue. “The Origins of the British” ( is a good introduction to this problem from a European perspective (not limited to Britain).
    Furthermore, there are different reasons for the speed of the genetic clock and I think you are right that there are certain clusters because people within one political entity have a higher exchange rate within than with the guys across the border (an old truism from economics, see Krugmann ISBN 0-262-11148-9 ; Canadian provinces and bordering US states have less cross border trade with each other than with some other entity within their political system). So not only is genetic exchange as limited as the trade of goods, but like certain human groups have their own tastes and ways of doing things, they have a kind of their own ideas for selecting a breeding partner that differs from other groups. Still, the first human settlers do usually have a major genetic heritage impact and there were different waves and routes that established their patterns across Europe. There are really few cases like the US, Australia and New Zealand where the natives were marginalized.

    In today’s time, I’d ask whether there’s a correlation between the crave for the goods(including software) from one country and an ability of people from this country/human group entity to reproduce with people who crave for the goods of their country/human group entity. If this is the case, then there are human groups who are selected for their ability to provide these goods and their higher wealth gives them more chances to do so (wealth allowing better reproduction with higher achieving children due to less malnourishment). Genes that do allow for a better development into a succesful provider of goods are more likely to receive a positive selection, as well as the social environment that forms the growing ups into training these useful abilities, likely at the expense of other abilities they would develop.

    Now comes the problem, why don’t the Europeans breed like rabbits (like they did two centuries before)? There are counterfactors to reproduction due to the environment that is created, including distance to other humans (stress in mammals), social norms, minimum material demands within the society’s framework and the legal issue of producing children and financing them, especially for European males (see German: Zeugungsstreik A cultural paradigm shift may thus be necessary to get out of an economically successful, but reproductive miserable deadlock that most likely has cultural reasons and leads to a genetic selection that does not favour economic high achievers.

    • Almost no groups breeds like rabbits except the Afghans and Sub Saharan Africans. And they are expected to stop breeding like rabbits very soon.

    • They are comparing males to females of the same age. Problem is females in male-female couples are on average slightly younger than males and the normal age to get kids in Germany is 30-34 for females so it is not surprising that the percentage for childless men is so much higher. Besides claiming that men are on strike when their voice in the matter of pregnancy isn’t that loud is a bit over the top. Or you want to claim that they are the ones that stop having sex or the one using birth control. In which case German men are very special.

      Reason why Germany and all the other conservative countries have low birth rates is simply because they make it to hard for women to have a career and kids.

    • Jennifer Hor says

      Dear Kurt,

      Some of the lowest fertility rates among First World countries are found in Italy, Spain, Japan and increasingly in South Korea. These are also countries where many people, especially in government and its agencies, and institutions like the Roman Catholic Church which may exercise influence over politicians, still believe women should stay out of the workforce and stay married, stay at home and stay with caring for children, the sick, the disabled and elderly. The reality is that many if not most women in these countries must work anyway if wages and salaries haven’t kept up with the cost of living over time. In Japan and South Korea there is still a strong Confucian influence which emphasises hierarchy and patriarchy even within families and South Korea has a strong Protestant Christian presence which may have some effect too.

      Fertility rates are highest in countries where women are subject to restrictions on personal freedom and education due to local customs, traditions and beliefs. In recent years fertility rates have been falling in Muslim-majority countries in North Africa and the Middle East and Iran now has the lowest fertility rate of any Muslim country due to government efforts in educating people and building schools, colleges and universities across the country, and in encouraging family planning (about 1.7 children per woman in 2011 according to this link:

      Increased urbanisation, improvement in living standards, government provision of social services for the most vulnerable members of society, women getting education and jobs, becoming financially independent and seeing themselves as individuals in their own right and not having to depend on men, and a general cultural drift towards individualism, personal growth and materialism away from social obligation and maintaining traditions are some factors that explain decreasing fertility rates in First World countries and Muslim-majority countries. In some sub-Saharan African countries that have achieved political and economic stability there is now a growing middle class and fertility rates and birth rates in those countries are likely to start falling.

      • Not only First world & muslim countries. Also in Latin America, India, Greater China & South East Asia.

  15. Regarding Vegetarianism in India

    25% of the Indian population is upper caste, mostly Y-haplogroup R1A, and is mostly vegetarian, and does not get affirmative action quota, and is the higher IQ segment

    Vish Anand, Ramanujam and 3 of the 4 Indian Science Nobels are vegetarian
    Most Jains, and merchant castes are also vegetarian

    75% of the Indian population, is lower caste, mostly non-R1A, and mostly eats meat, gets affirmative action quota and is the lower IQ segment

    Being a vegetarian, marks one as from a higher ranking, higher IQ caste

    In the National Geographic bee, which ended 4 days ago, 7 of the top 10 finalists were Indian , of which 6 are from vegetarian castes – 5 brahmins and 1 Jain

  16. Errors in the Indian PISA score

    The first error is that the sample size was 10 times smaller than the norm, and was deliberately selection skewed by leftist NGOs trying to get more funding for govt schools, by showing a lower PISA score

    The next error is that the student sample in both TN and HP was deliberately skewed, so that the sample had 75% kids from linguistic minorities

    TN raw math score = 351
    TN math score for kids from linguistic majority = 378

    HP raw math score = 338
    HP math score from linguistic majority = 401

    Next there is a 45 point gain by private schools over public schools
    Only the starving attend public schools for the free mid-day meal
    Even the lower middle class goes to private schools, and in urban areas, public schools are boycotted and empty
    The sample had 80% public schools

    Next, there is a 40 point gain of urban areas over rural areas,
    The sample had 80% rural schools
    This had the effect of non-selecting upper castes, since the upper castes are predominantly urban and rural areas are filled with dalit

    The PISA scores for Qatar , involves 153 schools and of which 30 schools are run for kids of foreign workers. The Qatar PISA average is raised hugely by these 30 schools
    In many of these schools , the kids are from upper caste

    Qatar School Ranking, top 30 schools out of 153

    Science, Math, Reading scores

    For comparison Shanghai = 575, 600, 566

    1. Al-Khor Indian Stream, ( GEMS ) = 566, 592, 604 = Indian Hindu technicians and Engineers of NGL
    2. The International School of Choueifat ( SABIS ) = 554, 562, 565 = Lebanese Xtian
    3. Doha College Private ( British Embassy ) = 572, 553, 563 = UK
    4. DPS Modern Indian School ( Delhi Public School Society ) = 552, 538, 563 = Indian Hindu
    5. Qatar Academy ( US educators ) = 540, 547, 562
    6. American School of Doha, ( US Embassy ) = 553, 546, 559
    7. Park House English ( UK ) = 568, 528, 552
    8. Birla Public School = 586, 539, 549 = Indian Hindu
    9. Qatar Intl Private School ( UK ) = 539, 529, 540
    10. Al Bayan Girls = 481, 464, 516 = Muslim Arab
    11. Cambridge Intl Private School = 531, 484, 514
    12. Doha Modern Indian School ( Jai Gopal Jindal ) = 554, 525, 514 = Indian Hindu
    13. Al-Khor British Stream ( GEMS ) = 507, 505, 503
    14. Dukhan English School ( UK ) = 529, 501, 500

    15. Debakey High School for Health ( USA ) = 492, 467, 493

    16. Qatar Canadian School = 451, 456, 491
    17. MES Indian School ( Muslim Education Society ) = 484, 469, 490 = Indian Muslim
    18. Ideal Indian School Girls, ( Muslim ) = 481, 450, 489 = Indian Muslim
    19. Sudanese School = 463, 411, 488
    20. Al Arqam = 454, 451, 484
    21. The Gulf English = 468, 448, 482
    22. Philipine School = 466, 461, 480
    23. Jordanian School = 446, 422, 472
    24. Tunisian School = 459, 436, 463
    25. Lebanese School ( Muslim ) = 444, 501, 463
    26. Middle East Intl = 484, 452, 461
    27. Al Andalus = 446, 397, 454
    28. Ideal Indian School, boys ( Muslim ) = 462, 465, 453 = Indian Muslim
    29. Egyptian School = 463, 435, 434
    30. American Academy = 462, 434, 434

    Qatar, 153 school average = 379, 368, 372 =

  17. This is an interesting post. Another interesting observation of mine is the consistent overestimation of India’s economic performance and simultaneous underestimation of China’s that we see here in the West. More interesting is that while China is often at most slightly underestimated, India is frequently VASTLY overestimated. I believe your article provides reason (or at least shines light upon) for this phenomenon. That is, the average Anglo Saxon economic commentator may more naturally assess economic data from the perspective of a person from an IQ pool of 100, rather than than 103 (or 105) or 80-90. Thus naturally, given any set of presented data, he or she is more likely estimate on what a group of people with an average IQ of 100 might best perform.

    This is especially relevant in the engineering field where many engineers from here in Australia find it puzzling that the availability of a particularly effective or worthwhile equipment/process/information is not as quickly realised or utilised in India. Similar situations involving East Asian engineers would generally pleasantly startle or surprise us, in that they often come to this realisation sooner than we do, and often innovate ways of utilising the same equipment that we do not so quickly think of.

    Anyway, I’ll be following your posts.

    • Thanks, Tyler.

      On the China underestimation / India overestimation thing, I already have a few posts (e.g. 1, 2).

  18. sapientiorsum says

    So, c. 800 BC, there must have been a low genetic potential in Italy. Then there was a mutation, creating superintelligence; hence, the Roman Empire. Sadly the mutation was shortlived, and Rome fell — at least in the West; Greeks, having higher genetic IQ, lasted longer. Then, the Greeks met their genetically intellectually superiors in the form of the Turks, who themselves degenerated in the course of a few centuries and became dumber than the Greeks, who were thus able to obtain independence.

    • I’m pretty certain there were other more important factors than intelligence to the rise and fall of empires.

  19. Dear Anatoly Karlin,
    Do you have an Email-address?

  20. anonymous says

    I sometimes feel like Han Chinese, and other East Asians for that matter, have either pursued a evolutionary strategy or evolved in a dysgenic way. Sure, they may have highest IQs, but take a look at the males from that race! They are globally the bottom of the totem pole in attractiveness and many of their women mate out. I don’t see much changing in the 21st century. What’s the point of creating and living in the wealthiest countries if you can’t even get any pussy! (to put it rather crudely)

    • It is more a diet issue than a genetics issue. Eat differently, get bigger and get pussy.

      And do more at home to keep pussy.

  21. You really created a lot of terrific stuff in your blog post, “Through A Glass Ceiling Darkly: Racial
    IQ Disparities And The Wealth Of Nations | Anatoly Karlin”.
    I’ll be coming to your site soon enough. Many thanks -Lula

  22. How much time did it acquire you to post “Through A Glass Ceiling Darkly: Racial IQ Disparities And
    The Wealth Of Nations | Anatoly Karlin”? It provides
    an awful lot of excellent advice. Thx -Camilla

  23. I would not be surprised if the rest of your article shows some scientific deficiencies here or there (you also seem to switch positions very quickly and easily, as evidenced by your giving up of the theory that the Chinese writing system stagnated China)—though I think it is well-written—but one of the many scientific errors is your proposition that East Asian males’ alleged smaller genital size causes them to “have a large effect on behavior”. Your implication is that they have lower testosterone levels, which you think are supported by (1) smaller genital size, and (2) greater conformity.

    It was actually found that East Asians have higher levels of testosterone than both Europeans or Africans. The ethnicity with the highest levels of testosterone are the Indo-Aryans. is one such data source (the data tables and study are embedded as a link in the post) and explanation. I have remembered seeing a similar study before, so I endeavored to search it on the web and this correlates with what I read in the past.

    • As long as we’re on the topic: the claim of East Asians have smaller genital size is itself somewhat dubious, and there are data which do not support public opinion on the matter, which can be found on the first page of many web searches.

    • Nitpicking, but the Indo-Aryan value is liable to change with sample size and serum analysis methodology.

  24. Mr. Karlin, please provide some peer-reviewed data sources used in your referenced targetmap link. Which studies show a substantial correlation (r > 0.5 say) between testosterone (which testosterone type are you using BTW?) and penile size for the average adult of a particular ‘race’? Which studies show the ‘large behavioural effect’ of testosterone between ‘races’? How many ‘races’ are there and what are the genetic categorization criteria?

  25. “In general, it should be possible to construct a “potential IQ” (and corresponding potential GDP per capita level) for each country.”

    I agree with the first point but I think you make an error with the second point in brackets. Who knows what GDP per capita level is eventually achievable for white western countries? Come back in 50 or 100 years and it could be significantly higher than today without an increase in g. So how can you possibly estimate the gdp per capita potential for any IQ level? It might be that 85IQ countries can achieve gdp per capita levels the same as the most developed countries today. Nobody knows what the gdp potential for any IQ level is since gdp levels are still growing everywhere. The most you could attempt to talk about is relative gdp sizes.

    • I agree with you. I suppose I should have clarified it as the potential GDP per capita level at any one given technological level, but I assumed it was kind of common sense. 🙂

  26. You cannot say much about countries v other countries with slightly different scores because of the Flynn Effect. The Med countries, Spain and Italy have higher IQ than Ireland but a lower GDP per capita level.The IQ levels of all the European countries are too close together given the Flynn effect to allow one to make long term predictions of IQ effect on the economy. The introduction of the single Euro is the real cause of the current troubles because it made interest rates too low for the then faster growing economies of Spain and Ireland, fueling massive property booms that eventually burst. Calling the collapse of the property bubble a result of national IQ differences is drawing a very, very long bow.

  27. Lol, its amusing people use IQ as a measure of intelligence when even a dimwit should be able to understand that it only measures educational attainment. Calling someone using IQ as a proxy for intelligence a racist is letting them off easy; Its more an issue of them being intellectually lazy and incapable of understanding that there is no single variable that leads to “success.”

    Education, nutrition, and opportunity is not equal in the United States and its foolish to pretend otherwise. Its always amusing how people drink the US Kool-aid that everything is equal. Right like poor people have good diets, great schools, and that racism didn’t lead to segregation and substandard opportunities for well established minorities like Blacks, Mexicans, and Native Americans.

    Native Americans have never had equal opportunities or a healthy diet since white people murdered them and forced them onto the most marginal land available. Blacks were enslaved and forcible brought to the US. Blacks have never had an equal opportunity to make up ground with whites and its amusing how whites always blame blacks being mentally and genetically inferior for their inability to eat healthy, attend good schools, etc. Mexico included the entire southwestern United states and its amusing how people presume that a conqueror would ever allow the vanquished to have equal opportunities. Mexicans are cheap labor and only given enough education to keep them in their place, blacks are obsolete and its more profitable to jail them (magic of privatized jails), and Native Americans better hope that something valuable isn’t discovered on their reservations otherwise they’ll get hit with some “indian giving.”

    IQ and G quotient are the modern version of measuring people’s skulls and pretending that physical attributes are somehow the reason why the world is structured as it is. Its pitiful how people fail to realize that human societies are more influenced by climate, resource distribution, trade routes, military success, etc than so called general Intelligence.

    It never cease to amaze me how people read a book and magically presume to understand all the intricacies of human intelligence and success. IQ is like the sexier version of creationism. White people read their “bible” (bell curve, etc) and magically understand that an invisible sky fairy (IQ) creates our destinies.

    • In case someone comes along and assumes what you’re saying about iq is true, I would like to bring up some refuting studies. The first reversal in seeing iq as a measure of education achievement came with twin studies. Identical twins raised separately and brought together as adults have 80% similar iq scores even when holding for similar ABS adopted homes. This contrasts a 40% similarity for biological siblings raised in the same home and even less for not biologically related siblings from the same home. Since many similar studies have corroborated these results.

      Invariably when iq is shown to be heritable, the next attempt is to discredit it as a predictor of anything useful. Unfortunately there is also no truth to this claim. IQ is shown to be highly correlated to income on a micro as well as macro scale as shown in this article. Interestingly.

      As to your (as I understand it) assertion that the differences in iq in the United States along race lines are attributed to differences in eating habits, you’re misunderstanding the relationship between diet and iq. Malnourished people have lower than their potential iq, but there are diminishing returns once you’ve achieved your body’s caloric needs and get the essential amino acids and vitamins. Across the board child nourishment is provided by Social welfare programs to the extent that very few die of hunger or get close.

      Your misconception is that somewhere it was implied that iq differences justify unequal treatment. The laziness is you (and an entire academic field – you know the one I mean) denying that people have any innate differences. You can skew the truth and say no biological differences exist or you can combat the real cause of racism which is that these differences don’t make people more deserving of basic human rights. The former is much easier and plays to your elitist ideas that middle America is incapable of comprehending the latter.