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29693The Bell Curve

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  • Herbert Gintis
    Apr 1, 2004
               There certainly is a lot of political correctness wandering about in the assessment of The Bell Curve.
               It is also quite true that Gould's Mismeasure of Man is extremely shoddy and should not have been reissued.
               However, all parties concerned have assumed, usually implicitly, that IQ has a superordinate effect on wages and socioeconomic status (I do not know about criminality). This is false. IQ explains very little of the wage gap between blacks and whites, and what part is explained is due to differential schooling. Yet the return to schooling is independent of IQ and an only (very) partially due to the effects of education on cognitive attainment.
               Sam Bowles and I have been saying this for many years---a position solidly based on the data. It is a true now as it ever was. See, for instance, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, "The Inheritance of Economic Status: Education, Class and Genetics", in N. J. Smelser and Paul Baltes (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social and (Oxford: Pergamon, 2001). Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis and Melissa Osborne, "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior and Earnings", American Economic Review 91,2 [may] (2001):155-158. Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis and Melissa Osborne, "The Determinants of
      Individual Earnings: Skills, Preferences, and Schooling", Journal of Economic Literature 39,4 (2001):1137-1176; and Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, "The Inheritance of Inequality", Journal of conomic Perspectives 16,3 [Summer] (2002):3-30.


      Herbert Gintis
      External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute 
      Adjunct Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University                                                     
      Emeritus Professor, University of Massachusetts                       
      15 Forbes Avenue, Northampton, MA 01060
      413-586-7756  (Home Office) 206-984-9873 (Fax)
      Recent papers are posted on my web site.
      Get Game Theory Evolving (Princeton, 2000) at Amazon.com
      Look for Moral Sentiments and Material Interests,
         forthcoming from MIT Press (2004)
             There is no sorrow so great that does not find
            its background in joy.
                                                                  Niels Bohr (1938)


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