More on IQ and immigration: Collins, ParaPundit, LGDL

A while back, I blogged about Lynn and Vanhanen’s book Intelligence in a blog post titled intelligence, international development, and immigration. L&V’s earlier books have been important references in many restrictionist arguments based on the alleged IQ deficit of immigrants, so critiquing L&V’s work is crucial to the immigration debate. My basic thesis was that whereas IQ might be quite important in explaining the creation of technology, sustaining and benefiting from technology is less sensitive to IQ, and low IQ people can benefit from new, improved technologies quite well. I asked Garett Jones, a researcher on the nexus of IQ and economics, to comment on my blog post, and I subsequently published another blog post including his response and my further thoughts.

Since then, I’ve discovered some other writings on the web that touch on this issue. I’ll mention them briefly.

  • Immigration externalities, a blog post by Jason Collins where he lays out the key points of contention between competing hypotheses: the intermediating role of institutions, and the debate about whether it is the high IQ fraction or the low IQ fraction that is more predictive. I recall that some of Heiner Rindemann’s results suggest that the high IQ fraction may be more predictive, but I don’t think anything definitive can be said yet.
  • Benthamite Libertarian Collectivists Wrong On Open Borders, a blog post by Randall Parker (for ParaPundit) that offers a number of standard arguments against immigration, including the welfare objection, cheap labor leading to a technological slowdown, crime, and political externalities. The post also links to many other standard restrictionist IQ-based arguments, so it’s worth a read.
  • Smart Fraction Theory II by La Griffe Du Lion, which posits an explanation for how national IQ differences lead to differences in the trajectories of nations.

2 thoughts on “More on IQ and immigration: Collins, ParaPundit, LGDL”

  1. I like the Collins link, it’s smart. I’m not sure I approve of the link to ParaPundit. The post’s logic doesn’t rise to the level of economic literacy. Every paragraph is full of confusion. We don’t want people reading stuff like that, it wastes their time at best and if they’re not able to filter it out, makes them dumber. Just my opinion.

    1. Hi Nathan,

      I do agree with you that some of Parker’s claims are more appealing to the economically illiterate than to the economically literate. However, the basic structure of his argument seems sound, albeit far-fetched. By the standards of restrictionist arguments, it seems pretty good. It’s actually similar to another argument that you praised and refuted a while back in the comments section on EconLog, see this page on killing the goose that lays the golden eggs where I summarize the argument and quote your response to it.

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