The Bell Curve Review: IQ Best Indicates Poverty
CitationPalmer, Benjamin. 2018. The Bell Curve Review: IQ Best Indicates Poverty. Student paper, EC970, Department of Economics, Harvard University.
AbstractThe Bell Curve (Herrnstein and Murray (1994)) is a very controversial piece of economics literature. The Bell Curve, which examines the effect of IQ on various social problems, is broken down into four sections: “The Emergence of the Cognitive Elite”, “Cognitive Classes”, “Social Behaviors”, and “National Context.” For survey statistics, Herrnstein and Murray (1994) use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data from 1979, which includes 12,686 people from ages 14 to 22, and contains Socioeconomic status (SES), IQ, and other related data. Herrnstein and Murray (1994) generate IQ from the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), a test all entrants to the Army take as an intelligence or IQ test. The Bell Curve concludes that self-isolation of the “cognitive elite,” defined in terms of IQ, has led to class stratification. Herrnstein and Murray (1994) believe that IQ is the best and most robust measure that is correlated to many resulting social problems, including poverty. I replicate The Bell Curve results that relate SES and IQ to poverty. I then examine the robustness of their results by examining a variety of regression specifications. I find that IQ is more correlated with poverty than SES in every regression, regardless of what is included in the regression, by a factor of 3.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:36853322
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