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July 7, 2015 / JayMan

National Prosperity

What does it take to make a nation great? What makes a country a great place to live, a healthy society, and a bastion of stability? Various theories and ideas have been put forward, and I think they are all pretty much bunk. I think we can apply a little reductionism here, and conclude that national prosperity is a function of just two factors. Allow me to quote myself from an earlier posting (emphasis added):

A lot of people talk about the determining factors behind national success. Lots of factors have been invoked. The HBD-aware invoke (of course) average IQ, but many countries in the world show that that’s not enough. So other factors get invoked. Due to the correlational nature of these, assessing causation is difficult – unless you use behavioral traits, which are (sorry blank and half slatists) largely inherited.

Here’s some of the factors that don’t matter:

Size (see Japan [large], Finland [small], and any number of small dysfunctional countries)
Diversity *per se* (e.g. Switzerland [diverse], Albania [homogenous], China [homogenous])
Resources (e.g. Arab oil states [resource rich], S. Korea [resource poor])

All that matters are two things: high average IQ, and high-trust people. You can even have several high-trust populations (e.g. Switzerland). And that’s all.

“Diversity” becomes a problem, really, only when there’s one or more clannish populations in the mix. Virtually ALL the “diversity” problems currently being experienced by Western countries is conflict between the non-clannish base populations and one [or] more clannish minorities. Switzerland manages fine with three different (relatively) non-clannish populations. So does, for that matter, Belgium and even France (Occitania – future discussion). Meanwhile, “homogenous” Italy, Albania, and Greece flounder.

Size, to the extent that it correlates with problems, only occurs because large states tend to encompass multiple populations – often clannish ones. So, trouble sometimes ensues. But size is not inherently a problem so long as the state manages to be primarily comprised of high-trust groups.

When you look around the world, you can see that average IQ and non-clannish (or at least high-trust, in the case of the Japanese and other similar “in-betweeners” – possibly includes Singapore and Taiwan) people make the difference. All the rest stem from these. These two things can explain 100% of the variance (haven’t checked, but maybe I will).

Of course, the challenge is that, with the possible exception of the Semai [see here], there are no low-IQ non-clannish/high-trust populations, which are basically confined to NW Europe.

It’s helpful to talk about this, to quality check these ideas, but it’s hard to ignore the above realities.

I would be tempted to add a key component a nonviolent, genetically pacified populace (see my own Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality and Western Europe, state formation, and genetic pacification by Peter Frost), but every non-clannish population is also relatively non-violent. The two go hand-in-hand, so this factor is a given.

Two factors: that is all. Various (often ad-hoc) explanations have been put forward as explanations for national wealth and stability. At least within the HBD-sphere, average IQ is accepted as being important, and there is no question that it is. But it’s clearly not the only factor. To demonstrate this, allow me to borrow this chart from Anatoly Karlin:

education-economy-global-3

As we’ve previously seen, national wealth exists in a curvilinear relationship with national IQ. There’s a massive increase in overall wealth towards the high end of the range. Looking at this high end is where we get our insight.

At this high IQ end, we note that the high economic performers are Northwestern European (or NW Euro-derived) while the low performers are Northeastern European or East Asian. That is, Eastern European and East Asian countries do considerably worse economically than comparably intelligent Northwestern European countries.

This compares to another curvilinear relationship, that between average IQ and corruption:

potrafke-intelligence-and-corruption-02At the high end, we see the same spread – we see the same patterns, with the usual suspects falling above and below the trend line.

This follows the “HBD Chick” divide of the world (see my earlier post here):

transperancy_twitter_CPI_map_NEW

Hence, despite a distribution of IQ that looks something like this:

RQ07Do0We see national indicators which look like this:

l_5352_2b025445022b980af8d55ad7448cc810

I wanted to address this because of one common theme that goes around in the HBD-sphere. That diversity, in and of itself, is a source of strife and conflict. I will argue that it’s not. Indeed, compare the above peace index map to this map of ethnic diversity within a country:

diverity-map-harvard2A close fit, but there are considerable mismatches. Something else is going on here.

Much of this wisdom on the inherent problems posed by diversity comes from a 2007 paper by Robert Putnam on diversity and trust in the United States. He found that the greater the diversity in a place, the less likely people are to report that they trust their neighbors, both of other races and of the same race:

Putnam Spots

HBD Chick once discussed this study. What I find interesting (besides the over all correlation) is the overall pattern. Note that the high-scorers cluster towards the northern part of the country while the low-scorers Trulia_Diversity_National1generally cluster closer to the south. Some of that is due to greater diversity in the southern part of the country, but it’s not just that. Look at the outliers. Places like East Tennessee and West Virginia score low relative to their diversity, as do cities like Detroit. These areas are pretty homogenous – but homogenous with clannish populations. East Tennessee and West Virginia are deep in Appalachia and hence are predominantly Scots-Irish in make up, while Detroit is predominantly Black.

On the flip side, two of the highest scorers are in the Dakotas, a region which is heavily Scandinavian and German in ethnic make up. As we saw in my previous post (Demography is Destiny, American Nations Edition) precise ethnic make-up is highly important.

In fact, when looked at closely, it’s clear that what Putnam is measuring isn’t diversity at all, but the absence of clannish people. Each locale scores similarly to areas with people who are similarly clannish.

Indeed, one of the high scorers is Lewiston, in the state of Maine (a place which is on the low side for trust across Maine generally). Indeed, Maine has ranked #1 on the 2011 U.S. Peace Index:

2011 US Peace index-Maine

Yet, Maine is an ethnically diverse state. Sure, it’s 94.4% non-Hispanic White, but as we should have seen in my previous few posts (as well as this one), not all Whites are created equal. Precise ethnicity matters. In Maine’s case, here there is a mix of English Puritans, Scots (both Ulster Scots as well as Highlanders), French (including long time Acadian residents and more recent Québécois immigrants), Irish, Native Americans, and a smattering of others. Yet people get along here just fine. Similar is true in places like Minnesota and the Dakotas which contain primarily German, Scandinavian, and English populations.

What this goes to show is that diversity is not much of an issue in itself. You can have a “diverse” mix of non-clannish, W.E.I.R.D.O. populations without much trouble. The entire nation of Canada is evidence of this point. Yet even a homogenous clannish population will usually have issues (see China, Albania, or Southern Italy).

Now at this point, some commenters might bring up certain East Asian nations as being a challenge for this pattern. But they are not. Japan is for one a decidedly different society than its fellow East Asian nations;  indeed, it is rather unique in the world. Japan is an “in-betweener” in terms of clannishness, being a type of shame culture like clannish societies but yet having a high level of trust in non-relatives (so long as they’re Japanese) – unlike typical clannish societies.

Hong Kong and Singapore, being city-states with select (and elite) populations are quite different from mainland China. That they are outliers in the region is not surprising (although Singapore employs draconian anti-corruption measures as well).

screen shot 2015-01-22 at 4.45.58 pmAs for Taiwan, while the overall corruption perception map lists it on the low side, one of Transparency International’s surveys there found that 36% of respondents reporting paying a bribe in the previous year. This is comparable to Mexico. In any case, Taiwan was largely settled by immigrants from the Fuijan province of China. There is considerable regional variation within China; it is possible that there are sub-populations in the country which are less clannish than others.

And there’s the matter of the Koreas. North Korea scores poorer on virtually every measure than does its southern counterpart. Many take this to be an example of the role of the state and institutions in national outcomes, and indeed, the North Korean regime is responsible for a good bit of the difference. (Though, contrary to many of these commenters, I don’t think we can consider the Koreas as examples of pure “environmental” effect – see Stop Saying North and South Koreans Are Necessarily Completely Identical Populations.) However, South Korea scores much closer to its more clannish East Asian neighbors than it does to Japan. The two Koreas – while quite different in outcome – aren’t necessarily as different as it may first appear.

But the situation in North Korea does often lead to another charge: that the high-IQ but under-performing countries do so because of a legacy of communism. But that argument is weak for several reasons. For one, the differences between Eastern Europe/East Asia and the West existed long before communism. As well, communism is long gone in many of these places and we generally don’t see convergence with the West in any of the aforementioned indicators or many of the others discussed on this blog or elsewhere. Clannishness is neither unique to communist societies nor has it abated in its absence, and all of these societies continue right along on exhibiting clannish behavior. And finally, as HBD Chick would ask, where did communism come from? Why was it embraced where and when it was? Varying clannishness is simply a more parsimonious explanation.

As for the matter of resources as a driver of national prosperity, a cursory look around the globe quickly disproves that. But this an argument levied more by conventional voices. It is pretty much understood within the HBD-sphere that average IQ drives differences in national wealth and not the other way around, as some claim. My earlier post Welcome Readers from Portugal! details this matter. Despite their wealth, the Arab oil states are no better off intellectually. Relative poverty has not stunted the Chinese in cognitive ability.

The origin of national prosperity has perplexed many thinkers of the matter. Several theories have been put forward, often either overly complex and/or lacking in explanatory power. Simple reductionism shows that prosperity is primarily a matter of two factors: high intelligence and low clannishness. All you need is to be near the upper right section of this plot:

In the end, this shouldn’t be really surprising. After all, an advanced, modern society needs not only smart people to be the innovators and the facilitators, but it also needs a climate of trust that makes doing business possible and more frictionless. The NW European societies (and a few others, such as the Japanese) have these qualities and prosper in today’s world. The rest, not so much. These nations will continue to improve, but they will never match Western levels in either development or national stability. Only time will tell if the very qualities that make NW European societies so successful, such as high-trust and a penchant for altruism ultimately end up doing them in, since they continue to import people from these less successful corners of the world.

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39 Comments

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  1. Lion of the Judah-sphere / Jul 7 2015 10:27 PM

    Nice! Have you heard about the economist Garrett Jones’ book coming out in November? It’s called “Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own”.

    I would guess clannishness (aka psychopathy) increases income somewhat at the individual level, but significantly reduces it at the national level.

    And doesn’t the US over-perform relative to its middling IQ (around 99) and its numerous clannish populations?

    • Albert Richman / Jul 9 2015 8:37 PM

      Interesting. Garrett Jones was one of the first economists to take Lynn seriously, I think.

  2. Anonymous / Jul 8 2015 1:50 AM

    Another good post. Just a couple of thoughs and questions though.

    1) “Clannish people integrating with non clannish people is the problem.” But from what I can tell the scots and the irish are fairly clannish. Yet, several high trust high GDP areas of Europe and America have diverse (white diverse) populations which include large Scottish and irish groups- in some cases they are the majority of the local population. Irish people and scots, even in great numbers don’t seem to impact the trust of an area much ( at least when co existing with NW Europeans). So, are they an outlier-or is it perhaps because they share a phenotype-and are close enough on performance that inequality isn’t easily visible to the naked eye that allows them to co exist despite a clannish pop amongst a non clannish one. Why is Ireland so welcoming to immigrants, and have such low incidence of anti immigration violence etc. Either two things are true, they are not as clannish as they have been made out to be by some in the HBD sphere, or something else is up.

    2) My other big concern about the ‘2 factors’ is china. China since the 1970’s has been the fastest growing economy in human history. 300 million people have attained a standard of living there in the last 10 years, that borders on the lower middle class or better. What happened in the 70s? Opening up of economic freedom, an end to a lot of the policies of Mao, and a following explosion in wealth. Quite literally unparalleled in history. My issue with any representation of China is that it seems to be a snapshot of an object in motion, who knows what it will look like in 50 years. Keep in mind HONG KONG is ethnically Chinese. I know Hong Kong could in theory be a non representative genetic sample. But I am not aware of any evidence for this. I do know they got governed by a high trust population in the British and they have a social legacy still honoring a lot of those civil traditions. They still fly the union jack, ask for democracy, and make comments about the value of the freedom of speech. China looks like a country that if you could govern them for just 50 years , so the young grow up under a new system, they could explode in freedom of values. Hong Kong is suggestive EVIDENCE for this.

    3) When problems happen they do seem to cause fractures along ethnic lines. High trust , high Iq pops aren’t likely to have terrible social issues, but if some outside force introduced one, it might prove a fracture point. But also the diverse groups that you point to living together, are phenotypically similar but different Nw Europeans. How diverse are they really? I wonder if one built a society that was half Japanese, half Swedish, how would it look. I am not sure how much of a diversity litmus test a bunch of swedes living with a bunch of people from Belgium is.

    In fact one interesting example a possibly largely environmental divide that I count point is with regard to language. Though I loathe to link to the guardian

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/may/09/belgium-flanders-wallonia-french-dutch

    -this is an example of two Nw European populations in political tension with each other despite a common national border. The tension of Flanders and Belgium , ostensibly due to language and cultural differences. No I wouldn’t claim 0% of this variance is genetic. But as a though experiment imagine we wiped everyone’s memories of these language and history differences, and then programed them to speak a common language. Mixing them up geographically , we shuffle them back into the world. Would they fracture along those same lines again? almost certainly not. Whereas one can easily picture how Zimbabweans and the Japanese would come apart if you did the same thing with them. Its a more predictable event in how it would unfold. That might because the Flemish example, has something to do with non genetic variables.

    4) HAVING SAID ALL THIS. High IQ , non clannish people do seem to be vital to making a great society- And no doubt a huge % of this is genetic, especially regarding IQ. (both traits though). But I am not sure social institutions matter as little as (seems) to be implied by this post. I guess you could say I am 90% agreeing with you, but quibbling over the degree of your theories explanatory power, not in the broad sense of you being right or not.

    Thanks in advance for any response.

    -Greeneyes.

    • JayMan / Jul 8 2015 9:37 AM

      @Greeneyes:

      Clannish people integrating with non clannish people is the problem.” But from what I can tell the scots and the irish are fairly clannish. Yet, several high trust high GDP areas of Europe and America have diverse (white diverse) populations which include large Scottish and irish groups- in some cases they are the majority of the local population. Irish people and scots, even in great numbers don’t seem to impact the trust of an area much ( at least when co existing with NW Europeans). So, are they an outlier

      I almost mentioned this in the post. Yes, Scottish immigrants and Catholic Irish have been a bit more well-behaved (and a bit more liberal) than you might expect. I suspect that there was a degree of self-sorting involved in migration and retention to the New World. Further study is needed.

      Why is Ireland so welcoming to immigrants, and have such low incidence of anti immigration violence etc. Either two things are true, they are not as clannish as they have been made out to be by some in the HBD sphere, or something else is up.

      Not all Irish welcome immigrants. But, overall, as clannishness goes, Ireland doesn’t rank extremely high:

      How Inbred are Europeans?

      Quite literally unparalleled in history. My issue with any representation of China is that it seems to be a snapshot of an object in motion, who knows what it will look like in 50 years

      Sure. But I’ll bet good money it won’t look like America or any Western country. No more than Russia does.

      Keep in mind HONG KONG is ethnically Chinese. I know Hong Kong could in theory be a non representative genetic sample.

      Not could be. Is. IQ differences alone speak to that point.

      Self-sorting and local evolution are important factors. Just because China is one country should the default assumption be no genetic differences across it. Indeed, a priori we would expect there to be.

      and they have a social legacy still honoring a lot of those civil traditions.

      I think this post and especially the one before it speak to the point that “social legacies” are genetic legacies.

      I wonder if one built a society that was half Japanese, half Swedish, how would it look.

      Hawaii?

      -this is an example of two Nw European populations in political tension with each other despite a common national border. The tension of Flanders and Belgium , ostensibly due to language and cultural differences. No I wouldn’t claim 0% of this variance is genetic.

      You would be wise. See my posts Demography is Destiny, American Nations Edition and More Maps of the American Nations. Regional differences are due to genetic differences. Sure, in Belgium, the two groups are highly related. But not identical.

    • kai / Jul 15 2015 5:38 AM

      Well, in Belgium you really have an example of a divide that is mostly cultural. There may be some slight genetic differences between Wallonia and Flanders, sure. But not much, and probably extremely similar to differences between social classes in culturally homogenous countries. That’s even the origin of the problem, elites speaking french and working/farmer classes speaking dialects (which quickly dissapeared in the case of the roman dialects, but not at all for the germanic ones that more or less merged into what is now the belgian version of Dutch).
      Belgium is really an experiment into cultural clanization, since the fifties roughly. The fact that it has not (yet?) turned violent is a good indice that biology trumps culture, cause trying to reproduce Belgium with really different populations would have turned bloody very very long ago. Rwanda-like, in fact. Trust me, I’m Belgian 😉

  3. Anonymous / Jul 8 2015 4:42 AM

    You overstate your case.

    (1) Your argument hangs on a polysemic factor: your own, admittedly technically perfectly correct, but idiosyncratic use of the term “diversity”, and an ambiguity of degree that you, knowingly or not, brush under a rug.

    (2) The map based stuff has large enough error bars to be virtually meaningless if you’re trying to do anything but guess at a starting point for an inquiry, or serve as rattle fodder for the media and politicians. The intrastate data is also unreliable because it is based on self-reporting.

    It’s not unlikely that you’re chasing a conflation–actually, I’d say it’s a given.

    • JayMan / Jul 8 2015 9:39 AM

      @Anonymous:

      Your argument hangs on a polysemic factor: your own, admittedly technically perfectly correct, but idiosyncratic use of the term “diversity”, and an ambiguity of degree that you, knowingly or not, brush under a rug.

      What’s your definition of diversity?

      The map based stuff has large enough error bars to be virtually meaningless if you’re trying to do anything but guess at a starting point for an inquiry, or serve as rattle fodder for the media and politicians. The intrastate data is also unreliable because it is based on self-reporting.

      Right. That’s part of the reason I use so many maps featuring different measures.

      Tell me something good. Make it really good.

  4. Mark Miller / Jul 8 2015 1:18 PM

    Per the earlier commenter: the Hive Mind book looks interesting, but I have suspected for years now that the two qualities you describe (average IQ and trust) are the governing terms in any model of broad sociological phenomena. As with Wade’s Troublesome Inheritance, it was a fun and fast read with lots of interesting details, but nothing novel so in the sense of new knowledge the ROI was not that great.

    Now this may be a too personal, but I’m curious as to how the author or those commenting here arrived at this position after decades of careful inculcation to the tabula rasa view. In my case, I remember the required reading of Gould’s Mismeasure of Man and thinking “this smells like a rat.” As a high school junior I had more interesting things to do than uncovering his fraud, but I recall thinking how forced, shrill, and demagogic it all sounded. Same with Jared Diamond’s “Guns…” where he claims in the preface that he thinks aboriginal australians have higher average IQs than “moderns” without even pretending to justify that position with anything approximating evidence.

    Something similar happened during a class in first grade where the teacher was explaining gravity (and why people don’t fall off the face of the earth) by spinning an open cup on string filled with water. I remember thinking – that doesn’t make sense, what about the people on the other side of the cup? They would be in outer space by now. So in my case, it was something of a disproof – what I was being taught had such gaping leaps of faith and downright contradiction that I began to suspect the whole premise.

    • Lion of the Judah-sphere / Jul 8 2015 8:41 PM

      You’ve read Hive Mind? It hasn’t been released yet…

      As to your second paragraph, I actually liked Guns, Germs and Steel, but I kept thinking throughout the whole book, “if geography impacts human behavior this much, then why can’t it impact human evolution?”

      To follow up on my 1st comment, I have a theory. Jayman claims institutions don’t matter, but obviously they have to somewhat because the difference between South and North Korea can’t be explained entirely by genetics, even if genetics partially explain the differences in outcomes. Institutions of course are probably mostly a result a of genetics, but random factors may cause dramatic differences in the types of institution of related populations.

      My theory is that free market institutions work best in high-IQ, slightly clannish societies. These societies out-perform the most relative to their IQ. Paradoxically, clannish, mostly homogenous societies like Russia and China choose left-wing authoritarianism rather than the free-market capitalism that would be optimal. And non-clannish high IQ societies like Scandinavia do well with socialism rather free markets, and probably wouldn’t do much better if they chose a purer capitalistic system. Therefore, high-IQ heterogeneous societies with mildly clannish populations benefit from free-markets because their citizens prefer free-markets, and mild clannishness, I believe, does well in free-markets. (I hope I’m being clear here)

      America, for example, is heterogeneous, diverse with many mildly clannish peoples, and fairly high-IQ, allowing it to benefit maximally from free-market economics. Singapore is probably an even better example, given its higher IQ and many clannish populations living in close proximity. Hong Kong might work as an example but its much less diverse.

      Another example: aren’t Jews and (and to a lesser extent, other Mediterraneans) the ultimate capitalists? High IQ, slightly clannish and they thrive in every free-market society, particularly diverse ones like America.

  5. Anonymous / Jul 8 2015 4:04 PM

    Forget whether china will look like America, or NW Europe. Look how much it grew it prosperity after adopting new economic social norms during the 70’s. Doesn’t this alone suggest that social institutions matter, and can change despite “genetic legacy”.

    Is it not slightly more accurate to say “genetic legacy” is a stamp on how “social institutions” get interpreted. Basically how they are employed and how successfully. So the specific manifestation of a social institution is a genetic legacy. But not that genetic legacy is social legacy to such an extent that the two are synonyms. Which allows for the variance in how economic policy has advanced so quickly in china, while still not becoming exactly the western model.

    As for immigration issue destroying the west. I am of the opinion that filtered immigration, of a reasonable amount ( based on economic need, ability of the social system to handle it, and most importantly the talents of the immigrants you let in) is probably useful to a society. Probably has a cost as well, but at least its reasonable to suppose the benefits might outweigh the cost.

    Mass immigration, pretty much regardless of wear it comes from-east Europeans, mexico, middle east, Africa. Is bad. Its economic migration, makes the immigrants almost richer by default, and the host country poorer.

    I’m glad your comment section-at least in the recent blog posts I have read- seems to be more polite given the controversial stuff discussed. Even most of the white nationalists here are fairly civil which I find weird lol.

    Once again, I am 90% agreeing with you, relative to the background population of fields like sociology we are more or less on the same team. Just a small quibble regarding if 100% of the variance being covered by your 2 criteria , HIgh Iq, non clannish. Rather than merely most of the variance.

    -Greeneyes.

  6. Albert Richman / Jul 9 2015 8:52 PM

    Why do you feel the rank order of national prosperity, between nations, has changed considerably over the last 100 years?

    • JayMan / Jul 9 2015 8:53 PM

      Has it changed all that much?

    • Albert Richman / Jul 9 2015 11:54 PM

      There are areas of considerable change (e.g., East Asia) but I don’t know the precise correlation. It may be quite high. You’d know better than I.

  7. slatestarcodex / Jul 10 2015 10:46 PM

    What do you think of http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2015/06/iq-and-wealth-of-states.html ? It seems to show cognitive ability being responsible for only about 15% of the differences in the wealth of US states. I tried to replicate and got a similar result, with a few other factors – racial diversity, geography, latitude, urbanness – adding about 10% each, and about 50% unexplained. I would say that’s pretty strong evidence against a two-factor model.

    If you want to be convincing, what you should do is get a spreadsheet, find some measure of state success (development index or just GDP per capita), stick in Lynn’s IQ figures, stick in some measure of social trust (corruption perception index, maybe?) run a regression, and see how much of the variance gets explained. I’m betting it’s less than 50%.

    • JayMan / Jul 12 2015 12:21 AM

      Scott,

      A couple of things here:

      First of all, have you seen my previous post? Or have you seen this recent one?

      There is no question that average IQ alone is highly predictive of outcomes on the global level.

      Furthermore, in the paper you referenced, I don’t know on what they’re basing the numbers they report in the abstract, but this is what they actually found:

      As they report in the paper:

      State incomes are strongly correlated with both measures of human capital. Figures 7 and 8 show scatterplots of the association across states of log GDP per capita in 2007 with average years of schooling and with the skill measure that adjusts for selective interstate and international migration (the latter by the 90th percentile), respectively. The cross-state correlations are 0.521 between log GDP per capita and average years of schooling and 0.574 between log GDP per capita and the skill measure. Similarly, average years of schooling and the skill measure are strongly correlated at 0.704 (see Appendix Figure A1).

      That pretty much says all you need to say, really.

      (I only wish they included all states. They should have rerun their analysis with all 50 states.)

      I commend their methods for accounting for selective migration, both foreign and domestic. Correlating the long-term economic performance with state IQ measures would have likely produced a much stronger correlation. But then, that territory was covered in the paper referenced in my previous post.

      If you want to be convincing, what you should do is get a spreadsheet, find some measure of state success (development index or just GDP per capita), stick in Lynn’s IQ figures, stick in some measure of social trust (corruption perception index, maybe?) run a regression, and see how much of the variance gets explained. I’m betting it’s less than 50%.

      County-level would work better. I don’t think such data (IQ, social trust, etc) exist for U.S. counties (beyond the aforementioned analysis). Year-to-year fluctuations and certain key local economic factors (e.g., resources, tourism) would lead to some residual variance in any analysis (not to mention good old measurement error).

      Besides, because state-level variation in IQ is small, you would expect other factors (such as resources, short-term fluctuations, etc.) to start having a larger effect.

    • Chuck / Jul 17 2015 3:16 PM

      R^2 can be a rather misleading way of expressing relations. In real life, we are often interested in unit change per unit change or correlation, not variance explained. Birnbaum expressed the point succinctly:

      “The ballpark is ten miles away, but a friend gives you a ride for the first five miles. You’re halfway there, right? Nope, you’re actually only one quarter of the way there. That’s according to traditional regression analysis, which bases some of its conclusions on the square of the distance, not the distance itself. You had ten times ten, or 100 miles squared to go – your buddy gave you a ride of five times five, or 25 miles squared. So you’re really only 25% of the way there. This makes no sense in real life, but, if this were a regression, the “r-squared” (which is sometimes called the “coefficient of determination”) would indeed be 0.25, and statisticians would say the ride “explains 25% of the variance.” There are good mathematical reasons why they say this, but they mean “explains” in the mathematical sense, not in the real-life sense. For real-life, you can also use “r”. That’s the correlation coefficient, which is the square root of 0.25, or 0.5. In this example, obviously the r=0.5 is the value which makes the most sense in the context of getting to the ballpark. Because you really are, in the real life sense, halfway there.”

      That noted, Emil Kirkegaard did look at the relation between overall social well being and average state aptitude: “I analyzed the S factor in US states by compiling a dataset of 25 diverse socioeconomic indicators. Results show that Washington DC is a strong outlier, but if it is excluded, then the S factor correlated strongly with state IQ at .75” (Examining the S factor in US states). Regarding international values, we built “The Worldwide Megadataset” (246 variables including cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity indexes, cognitive ability, general-social well being, etc.) which could be used. The correlation between the s-factor and cognitive ability was about 0.86. I recall that indexes of diversity had a non-trivial independent effect on outcomes, though I didn’t control for personality, geography, genomic distance, etc. The point is that Jayman’s contention is pretty testable and there are readily available data sets which one can use.

  8. jjbees / Jul 12 2015 1:00 PM

    Someone did a simulation that showed that clannish populations will ALWAYS outcompete altruistic high trust populations when they are located in the same environment.

    In a globalist world like the one we have now, I would be very surprised if Swedes even exist 100 years from now. High trust requires some degree of isolation.

    • Lion of the Judah-sphere / Jul 12 2015 4:42 PM

      I agree that’s probably true when controlling for IQ. Non-clannish populations create the best institutions, but once those institutions are create, high-IQ yet clannish populations may start to thrive.

  9. Anonymous / Jul 12 2015 2:58 PM

    Genetic engineering can’t get here soon enough. all peoples deserve a better life, and that’s the way the way to get really get there. Such a pity its one of the few areas the right and left agree on in opposing.

  10. szopeno / Jul 13 2015 8:54 AM

    (1) Actually you see that on some indicators former post-communist countries are coming close to the west (e.g. number of civic organization and participation in Poland, it continued to rise up in the 2010s; I dont’ have exact numbers but I note that the number HBD Chick once quoted are already outdated, coming from 2005-2008). I am to impatient to check all at WVS, becuase the site it so slow, but e.g. for humanitarian/charity org the rise is from 3.1 to 3.9%; for sport participation, from 4.2 to 6% (the first number is from HBD chick’s classic post, second is from “active membership” category in 6th wave in WVS). Still well below western europe levels, but you can clearly see the small rise, and this is a change which continues for quite a some time. The same goes for other indexes, though here you have to see the larger periods, as there is large fluctuations between-year. And I think I already discussed with you and HBD chick on that.

    (2) Every type of society selects for something, in case of communism the selection was in form of shooting some people and forcing other to emigrate – e.g. in Poland about million people was forced to emigrate after 1980, and that selection was not random.

    (3) Communism in most of those countries was introduced from the outside and usually was opposed for a very long time. While I agree that there is a difference in so called “inherent” propensities vs empathy, trust and so on, I also believe that Poland, Czech, Slovakia and so on are still on the way to fulfill our true potential. The process will be long and would probably last two or more generations (e.g. some 50 years) but we, contrary to what HBD chick implied, we already see changes. We are still like 25 years only after communism – we have only now first generation which was born after communism, entering now the real adulthood. I do not think that if you were raised by communism, then suddenly you would change overnight.

    • szopeno / Jul 13 2015 8:55 AM

      ugh, close == CLOSER, not close.

    • JayMan / Jul 13 2015 9:10 AM

      @szopeno:

      Still well below western europe levels, but you can clearly see the small rise, and this is a change which continues for quite a some time.

      Trends in that direction? Yes. Eventual convergence with NW Euro countries? No.

      (2) Every type of society selects for something, in case of communism the selection was in form of shooting some people and forcing other to emigrate – e.g. in Poland about million people was forced to emigrate after 1980, and that selection was not random.

      Hardly a blip on the evolutionary radar.

      We are still like 25 years only after communism – we have only now first generation which was born after communism, entering now the real adulthood. I do not think that if you were raised by communism, then suddenly you would change overnight.

      I on the other hand am not so optimistic.

      Do note that there is a gradient in clannishness across Eastern Europe. The West Slavs are more like NW Euros than the East Slavs are, for example.

  11. Anonymous / Jul 16 2015 11:49 PM

    JayMan-

    I am a newcomer to HBD, and I very much enjoy your blog. I’ve learned a great deal about this (underground) field from you, and I appreciate the lack of hateful ranting on your blog that is unfortunately common in much of the HBD-sphere.

    I’m curious as to what you think of this series of maps Gawker put out (warning: strong language):

    http://gawker.com/do-you-live-in-a-bitch-or-a-fuck-state-american-cu-1718259899

    The use of words seem to correlate with the maps in your American Nations series. I’m wondering how that fits into your theories.

  12. Greying Wanderer / Jul 17 2015 1:39 AM

    If mean IQ is one key factor then traits which maximize group synergy logically ought to be the other.

  13. Chuck / Jul 17 2015 2:39 PM

    “I wanted to address this because of one common theme that goes around in the HBD-sphere. That diversity, in and of itself, is a source of strife and conflict”.

    Diversity is highly predictive of intra-state conflict. Here is a link to Vanhanen’s book.
    https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/ethnic-conflicts-their-biological-roots-in-ethnic-nepotism-tatu-vanhanen.pdf It’s suprising that you didn’t mentioning it. Now, factors such as IQ and personality differences may mediate the relation, but I don’t imagine that the average diversity = conflict HBDer commits herself to a specific causal pathway.

  14. Omar / Jul 17 2015 8:02 PM

    Dear Jayman,

    I read your blog for a while, and I find it extremely interesting. And as an African, I wasn’t very confortable with the racial differences in intelligence, so the fact that a Black have one of the best HBD blog help me a lot.

    I saw that you were talking several times about solutions to the dysgenics problem in America and I agreed with you on the quasi totality of what you were saying about it. But, as an African, I would like to know what solutions do you have for Africa(I’m aware that you aren’t superman but your opinion about it interest me a lot), you should really write an article about it.

    Btw, it is in your projects to show us your identity ?

    Good continuation to you and sorry for the english !

  15. jeppo / Jul 18 2015 8:35 AM

    After all, an advanced, modern society needs not only smart people to be the innovators and the facilitators, but it also needs a climate of trust that makes doing business possible and more frictionless. The NW European societies (and a few others, such as the Japanese) have these qualities and prosper in today’s world. The rest, not so much.

    This is a valuable insight and does much to explain the great divergence between NW European nations and pretty much everybody else. But I’m not so sure that NW Europe should be defined as the region enclosed by the Hajnal line.

    The climate of trust that’s so important to NW European success is less apparent in countries inside the Hajnal line, like France and most of Italy, Spain and Portugal, than it is in countries outside of it like Finland, Ireland and most of Austria.

    In the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, this is how those 7 nations ranked:

    3) Finland
    17) Ireland
    23) Austria
    26) France
    31) Portugal
    37) Spain
    69) Italy

    I would also argue that Finland, Ireland and Austria are much closer culturally to NW European norms than are France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. In terms of racial phenotype, linguistic group and religious heritage, the former 3 nations cluster loosely with the Nordic-Germanic-Protestant core of Northern Europe, while the latter 4 form their own, distinct Mediterranean-Latin-Catholic meta-culture in the South (with the third major European grouping being the Alpine-Slavic-Orthodox in the East).

    MG Miles at “Those Who Can See” has used linguistic commonality to define the NW European (or ‘Teutonic’ as he calls them) nations. You obviously know this because you read and commented on his article.

    http://thosewhocansee.blogspot.fr/2014/11/theres-something-about-teutonics.html

    English (UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
    German (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein)
    Scandinavian (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland)
    Dutch (Netherlands, Belgium)

    I think this is spot on because it makes eminently more sense to define a culture by language, religion and race than it does by historical marriage patterns, as the Hajnal line does. In his article, MG uses a series of Top 20 charts showing the dominance of Teutonic nations in various quality-of-life measurements, and which I think conclusively prove that non-Hajnal countries like Finland, Ireland and Austria belong with the Teutonic/NW European elite, and that Hajnal countries like France, and especially Italy, Spain and Portugal surely don’t.

    Diversion of public funds:
    5) Finland
    17) Austria

    Judicial independence:
    6) Finland
    10) Ireland
    18) Austria

    Reliability of police services:
    1) Finland
    17) Ireland

    Property rights:
    2) Finland
    7) Austria
    13) Ireland
    16) France

    Willingness to delegate authority:
    6) Finland
    18) Austria

    Coopertion in labor-employer relations:
    10) Austria
    15) Finland

    Quality of the education system:
    6) Finland
    11) Ireland

    Country credit rating:
    7) Finland
    9) France
    14) Austria

    Quality of overall infrastructure:
    4) France
    6) Austria
    8) Finland
    14) Portugal

    Broadband internet subscriptions:
    9) France
    14) Finland

    Utility patents per million population:
    6) Finland
    16) Austria

    Incredibly, Finland finishes in the top 20 in all 11 categories. Austria has 8 top 20 finishes, Ireland and France tied at 4, Portugal 1, and Italy and Spain none. So the nations outside or mostly outside the Hajnal line clearly outperform the nations inside or mostly inside it in a broad spectrum of quality-of-life criteria.

    Why? Because these non-Hajnal nations share the NW European “juice” of race, language and religion, whereas the Hajnal nations of France, Italy, Spain and Portugal don’t.

    Finnish may be a non-Indo-European language, but Swedish is also an official language in Finland, and the Swedish minority there has played a hugely outsized role in Finnish history and culture. Finland, like the rest of Scandinavia, is resolutely Lutheran. And the Nordic phenotype predominates in Finland, which, after all, is the blondest country in the world.

    Austria is a Germanic nation, and was in fact the heart of the German-speaking world for many centuries. The Nordic phenotype is common, if not quite predominant, in Austria. And although it is a Catholic rather than Protestant country, their Catholicism has never been as intense as it was in the Latin Mediterranean nations.

    Ireland too is a Germanic nation (though they might hotly deny it), as English is universal there and Gaelic basically reduced to an unused-in-daily-life folkloric language. Light-coloured skin, eyes and hair typical of Nordics are very common in Ireland. And though they were formerly one of the staunchest Catholic countries in the world, they have almost completely fallen away from that and are now as typically irreligious as the rest of Northern Europe.

    So I believe that these 3 nations, despite being partial outliers, should be classified as part of Nordic-Germanic-Protestant NW Europe, and that France and parts of Italy, Spain and Portugal shouldn’t. The Hajnal line may be an interesting phenomenon, but race, language and religion surely trump historical marriage patterns when it comes to defining a common culture.

  16. Omar / Jul 19 2015 1:58 PM

    Are you busy ? Why dont you answer to me ?

    • JayMan / Jul 19 2015 2:03 PM

      Very busy out of state at the moment will get back to you in a few days.

    • Omar / Jul 26 2015 1:26 PM

      Can you answer me ? One week just passed.

    • JayMan / Jul 26 2015 1:44 PM

      @Omar:

      For the record, a did say on my Open Thread that I can’t guarantee fast service (or any service).

      In any case, for some of the ideas I have suggested on this matter (but don’t necessarily still recommend), see my post:

      Solutions, Again

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I appreciate your comment and readership.

    • Anonymous / Jul 28 2015 7:05 AM

      Yes, I have already read this very interesting article.

      If I understand you want me to ask you ask you again the question about Africa again but in your open thread ?

    • Omar / Jul 28 2015 7:06 AM

      If I understand you want me to adk the question again but in your open thread ?

    • JayMan / Jul 28 2015 7:09 AM

      No. What I’m saying is that while I try to respond to all my commenters, I’m a pretty busy person and can’t guarantee that I’ll get to everyone and quickly. I hope you understand.

  17. Anonymous / Jan 9 2016 7:19 PM

    I think you are mostly right on this, but government policy matters, too. China used to be the main economic and scientific power of the world. It had an amazing fleet of ships back in the 1400s, far better then any in Europe. They sailed and mapped the Indian Ocean. They were so far beyond everyone else that the Emperor was more concerned with possible challenges to his authority from within China then from without. China turned inward and destroyed their fleet. It became an intellectually closed system. Europe then passed far beyond China and the Chinese suffered because of it. That didn’t have to happen, but it did due to China ending up with some bad leaders making stupid decisions.

    Having a relativity free market economy will also help regardless of the people. Lower IQ and clannish people may not be as successful as higher IQ and less clannish people if they both have relativity free market economies, but free markets are always better then Communism. Look at how Pinochet turned around the shitty Chilean economy by implementing free market reforms. Eastern Europe and China are more prosperous today under a more free market type of economy then they ever were under Communism. China still has to much state control, though, and it is causing them problems. Heck, the US has to much state control, too, just not to the same degree.

    I also think having a de facto national language helps. Look at all the trouble Canada has had with French Canada over the years. They are both made up of core European populations, but French Canada never really integrated.

    The US system was better in dealing with European non-English speakers. They were brutally discriminated against and forced to learn English to become economically successful. They had to assimilate if they wanted to better their lot in life and earn money in the USA. Now they can just go on welfare and they can press #2 for Spanish. Leftists bitch about new immigrants being discriminated against, but discrimination against non-assimilated people is a good thing long-term, as it forces them to either adopt the wider population’s mores or leave. The Irish were discriminated against to a far greater degree then anyone today is, and think goodness for it, as it forced them to become American or leave (I am part Irish). JFK had to convince the American people that he wouldn’t be a Papist puppet before they would elect him, and rightly so. New immigrants that do not share at least most of the common American mores should be brutally discriminated against until they adopt those mores or leave. Immigrants should adapt to the country they move into, not the other way around. Western governments don’t seem to understand that today.

    • JayMan / Jan 19 2016 10:53 AM

      I think you are mostly right on this, but government policy matters, too. China used to be the main economic and scientific power of the world. It had an amazing fleet of ships back in the 1400s, far better then any in Europe. They sailed and mapped the Indian Ocean. They were so far beyond everyone else that the Emperor was more concerned with possible challenges to his authority from within China then from without. China turned inward and destroyed their fleet. It became an intellectually closed system. Europe then passed far beyond China and the Chinese suffered because of it. That didn’t have to happen,

      Are you sure? Why did the Chinese do that? Don’t think of history as a series of random accidents.

      Eastern Europe and China are more prosperous today under a more free market type of economy then they ever were under Communism.

      Sure but neither is on par with Western countries today, nor will they.

      I also think having a de facto national language helps. Look at all the trouble Canada has had with French Canada over the years. They are both made up of core European populations, but French Canada never really integrated.

      It’s also full of French Canadians. Different genetic stock entirely.

      hey were brutally discriminated against and forced to learn English to become economically successful. They had to assimilate if they wanted to better their lot in life and earn money in the USA.

      Assimilation is a myth. Fairly obvious when comparing French Canadians in Canada with French Canadians in the U.S.

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