Income Inequality and IQ

(Washington: AEI Press, 1998.)

Summary from Publisher:

What causes income inequality? The usual answers are economic and sociological. Capitalism systematically generates unequal economic rewards. Social class distinctions create different opportunities in life, leading to unequal economic rewards.

But personal characteristics such as diligence, creativity, and enthusiasm can also affect how much money people earn. In this volume, the author discusses one of the most important of these personal characteristics: intelligence as measured by IQ tests. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, he argues that IQ has an important effect on income independent of family background. He also uses these data to explore a provocative policy question: if somehow we were able to achieve undreamed of success in social policy, eliminating poverty and ensuring that all children were born to intact families, how much would we decrease income inequality in the subsequent generations?