by Tyler Cowen
on March 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm
1. I don’t actually deserve to make Italian Vogue.
2. The culture that is America (Sweden). A short comparative video.
3. How corruptible is New Jersey anyway?
4. Most popular art exhibitions of 2011 (pdf), discussion here. The winner is Brazil.
5. How Fred Astaire’s dancing changed the movies.
6. What is driving increasing African migration to the U.S.?
2. Eh, they’re both pretty good. Europe has had, ahem, some bad experiences with nationalism so you might not see one like the U.S. version over there, but I think I have seen a few U.S. recruiting videos like the Swedish one.
I think it is interesting, though, that the Swedish video actually runs counter to a primary complaint about U.S. foreign policy, which is that we shouldn’t be getting caught up in other nations’ problems.
#1. From Google Translate:
In my book, “No Crack. Discover the economist in you” tell how to get the economy to improve life every day.
Many europeans seem to believe that Americans shouldn’t get involved in fixing world problems, but that europeans should. The ones I have talked to, basically claim that Americans are really bad peacekeepers and just make problems worse, but are really good at breaking armies.
From what I can tell, Europeans don’t actually pay attention to how horrible they themselves are at peacekeeping, and how they enhance corruption in the countries they peace-keep. I think it may have to do with how most of their big tv media is either state-owned or close to it.
The marines’ ads have a special emphasis on the traditional martial virtues even by comparison with the other services. So the deck is a bit stacked. You could likewise show an ad from the coast guard that does emphasize helping people in trouble, or a current national guard ad that shows them fighting forest fires notwithstanding that many of them have been sent to fight overseas.
We need less Africans here, since there average IQ is only 75. Our policy should only allow high IQ east Asians. As an palaeoanthropologist I’ve studied this.
As a paleoanthropologist you studied immigration policy?
Hes pretty obviously trolling at this point.
No, no, no. We need to continue making it as easy as possible for unskilled Mexicans and Africans to come over, and as difficult as possible for Indian and Asian engineers and PhD holders. I don’t get the warm fuzzy feeling patting myself on the back for welcoming the latter group as opposed to the former.
Surely it’s only due to white racism that East Asians and their descendants have low-crime rates and high IQs anywhere in the world you go, and Africans and their descendants the opposite.
That’s fine. But why the maliciousness in the response?
What I appreciate about Charles Murray is that he says similar things but with a distinction: he never denigrates or demeans any group whatsoever. For that matter the same thing is true about James Watson’s comments on the matter.
Anyway, if in fact there is a slight IQ advantage for Asians over Caucasians on average, and a more significant advantage for Ashkenazi Jews then it stands to reason that you could go a step further and try to limit immigration only to these groups – and moreover actively discourage their mixing with Caucasians.
“That’s fine. But why the maliciousness in the response?”
Who do you suppose I’m being malicious against? I’m just mocking a subset of white liberals, otherwise just calling it like it is.
“Anyway, if in fact there is a slight IQ advantage for Asians over Caucasians on average, and a more significant advantage for Ashkenazi Jews then it stands to reason that you could go a step further and try to limit immigration only to these groups – and moreover actively discourage their mixing with Caucasians.”
I don’t think views on immigration map onto views on interracial breeding quite like that.
Not too sure whether Ranjit is talking about interethnic breeding or social mixing.
But there’s no real point blocking or disapproving of intermarriage once you have people in the same state really – the descendents of a mix of Ashkenazi Jews and average Whites, for example, would regress to a lower mean than that of pure Ashkenazis, but in exchange they’d be regressing to a higher mean than that of average Whites, and would also have higher variance than either of the monoethnic groups.
So you’d have about the same number of idiots and geniuses in your state, they’d just not match up to particular ethnic groups as much (so maybe there’s less ethnic cohesion and more diversity amongst the smart and the dumb, who knows if that’s good or bad?).
On the other hand, for Chinese to block unselected immigration of Europeans and on a much larger scale for European (descendents) to block unselected immigration of Africans, now that does would preserve a better genius:idiot ratio in their states.
That’s why from a “stopping my state getting dumber serves my interests” POV, then the migration and inter-ethnic breeding arguments are not really the same at all.
What if having a mix of genius Jews and average Whites is better for a nation than the resultant mediocre offspring produced by interbreeding? I suspect it is. A high mean is not so important as having at least that small cohort of geniuses.
Indeed. To what extent do we balance the need of a high average vs. the need of a high variance to produce geniuses? However, high variance also produces more idiots. How many idiots does a genius outweigh?
“No, no, no. We need to continue making it as easy as possible for unskilled Mexicans and Africans to come over, and as difficult as possible for Indian and Asian engineers and PhD holders. I don’t get the warm fuzzy feeling patting myself on the back for welcoming the latter group as opposed to the former.”
Oh its for the “the warm fuzzy feeling” that it’s made easy for unskilled but not skilled labor to enter, here’s me thinking it’s because skilled labor doesn’t like competition and like cheap maids. I doubt either of our explanations are true, in the case of Mexican immigration isn’t it just the border effect.
“I doubt either of our explanations are true, in the case of Mexican immigration isn’t it just the border effect.”
Why can’t they both be true? Some people (incorrectly) perceive the immigration of skilled workers to be a net loss to their welfare via increased employment competition, some people call for more immigrants of politically favored populations to boost their social status and self-perceived nobleness.
The unique part about the Mexican flow is we have hardly any control over most of it. Skilled, non-skilled, we just are accepting whatever the border throws at us. A lot of the skilled-versus unskilled discussions etc. are purely academic when there’s this unfiltered torrent coming from across the border.
The awful grammar in this response indicates a high likelihood of trolling.
It goes beyond self-negating.
We should test them for grammatical use of the English language.
African immigration to the US (apart from European-descended refugees from Rhodesia or South Africa) is a disaster for the US. Even “brain drain” highly-educated immigrants are a disaster because their descendants will exhibit regression toward the mean–and the African mean is one of very low intelligence and high aggression. We already know how the descendants of modern Africans behave in the US, even with the boost of 15-20% white genes on average: intelligence mean a full standard deviation down, general criminality triple, and rate of extreme violence (murder and forcible rape) six times higher than euro- or east-Asian-descended Americans.
Regression to the mean is mainly the product of the fact that there are non-genetic elements to intelligence*.
In terms of intelligence, a selected subpopulation will not inevitably continue to regress to the superpopulation’s mean if it is separated out – it will regress to the mean to the extent that its environmental variance is washed out, not 4ever.
As an analogy, if Americans had actually had to be smart to migrate to America (from Europe or Asia or wherever), then they would likely retain some of that smartness, rather than regress for ever to the mean of their population of origin (however since Americans are not smarter, that’s not the case).
In Western countries, environmental variance contributes to a >50% proportion of within group IQ variance amongst lower SES groups and <50% amongst higher SES groups, and around 50%-20% overall across the entire population.
Of course, Africans are never going to really be properly super selected by immigration policy (either for IQ or other desirable human qualities), so…
*Assortive mating and epistasis may also matter, but probably not much.
Which I why I wrote “regression toward the mean.” Selecting “highly educated” Africans for immigration would restrict the range of variation in the portions of their genomes which influence phenotypic intelligence, so if (a big “if”) those immigrants were only to breed among themselves their descendants would likely not regress all the way to the African mean. However, if we get into details, we will expect all sorts of social factors to influence the breeding of both new African immigrants and their descendants, which is why I point to the empirical fact that the existing population in the US of people primarily descended from immigrants (involuntary, in many cases, and not selected for intelligence) from Africa–which greatly outnumbers likely new African immigrants and with whom the descendants of new African immigrants would almost certainly interbreed–is not very bright on average (and is very aggressive on average), so we should expect similar results from any further experiment with immigration to the US from Africa.
Are you implicitly asserting that a high-IQ immigrant African would prefer to (or be forced to) breed with a low-IQ African American rather than any one of the other high-IQ potential mates available?
Bear in mind that 74% of immigrant Africans are “highly educated”; it’d be safe to assume the mean IQ of this cohort is higher than even the average white native. i.e. if at all any interbreeding with native Whites took place it is an IQ-increasing proposition (ironically).
The further from the mean any individuals are, the more visible the mean-regression in their offspring. Those highly-educated Africans are way, way above their population means so most of their descendants would likely display much lower phenotypic intelligence (this is not a racial thing– most children of geniuses aren’t geniuses themselves, and as for grandchildren, well…). Since most children of even highly-educated African-immigrants would not display particularly high intelligence, those children would not be especially likely to breed with highly-intelligent natives (whether or not an immigrant parent did), and in the out generations the descendants of even highly-educated new immigrants from Africa would merge into the general population.
(Brian, “refugees from Rhodesia” was a way to clue readers that I was talking about the whites chased out of that country by the Mugabe regime. The name change to Zimbabwe was part of the doomed political settlement which changed the breadbasket of southern Africa into the basket case of Southern Africa and which has driven the exodus of most of the more intelligent people in that country.
(It is a cautionary tale for the US. Mugabe’s entire power base (his “veterans”) consists of Africans with low intelligence and high aggressiveness. They are immune to fancy-pants appeals to law or social cooperation. The last thing Americans should want would be more people like that on US soil.)
If highly educated means around 120 IQ, and Africans have an 85 IQ, a second generation child of two African parents should regress to around 105 IQ (following the standard regression to the mean equation of parental mean*0.6+population mean with residual SD of 0.8 population SD ).
I’m not sure highly educated in an African context is necessarily that high. In the US college graduates are around 110. The paper being referred to – http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/wp98102.pdf – cites highly educated as meaning “with tertiary education”.
So assuming African institutions are exactly as selective as US ones (of course, they probably are not) then regression to instead would set them squarely at around the White American mean, not increasing or decreasing the American mean at all (although this says nothing about personality traits).
Interestingly, this paper being referred to where the highly educated number – http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/wp98102.pdf – comes from also states that the largest flows are from Egypt (50000), Algeria (43904), South Africa (22000) and Ghana (12000). And . So many of these people who are highly educated are probably not actually African in the “Black” sense being talked about here,
Sub-Saharan (black) African groups have IQ means closer to 70, not 85 (85 is the American Black mean). So if “highly educated” amounts to 120 IQ then “highly educated” black Africans are 3+ SD off their population mean. For immigrant neighbors I would rather have “highly educated” Egyptians, only 2+ SD off their mean near 85 (plus many of those highly-educated Egyptians may stem from higher-IQ Egyptian minority groups such as those of Armenian or Greek extraction). Of course, some of the American-Black vs. black African IQ differences may stem from environmental factors.
As for the actual effects of regression toward the mean, and not forgetting that we’re working with means and SD’s here (rather than individual values), if we follow your approach and assume two black African immigrant parents each with 120 IQ drawn from a 70 mean-IQ population, along with heritability (h2) of 0.6, I get mean IQ of 100 for the first generation offspring, and 88 for the second-generation– on the additional assumption that the people in each generation mate with others of the same mean IQ and racial background. I think the first part of that– same mean IQ– is reasonable, since most long-term matings seem to involve people within 1SD of IQ of each other; as for the assumption of shared racial background, I admit that is more of a stretch, and I already wrote that I expected the descendants of new African immigrants would merge into the existing American population. Suppose that the average-IQ-88 grandchildren of new highly-educated black African immigrants marry average-IQ-85 American blacks– we would then expect their descendants to be pretty much indistinguishable, IQ-wise, from the general run of American blacks. (Another approach to the numbers yields pretty similar estimates for IQ’s by generation. Recognize that the black African IQ SD is likely smaller (numerically) along with the mean; that is, more like 70/13 than 100/15.)
Naturally there would be considerable dispersion in the IQ’s of the immigrant-descended individuals. That would not be surprising, but it would also not raise the average IQ of any future black population of America very much, unless there were much more selection pressure on IQ than we have heretofore observed.
(Brian, how can empirical facts be “horrible, bigoted” stuff?)
One problem with your analysis is that you assume Africa as one homogeneous population distribution. Do you know if this is valid?
What if the immigrant “highly educated” cohort is mostly coming from smarter sub-populations? What if most of the high-IQ people coming over are drawn from a sub-distribution of mean IQ 105? Changes a lot of your subsequent analysis.
When analyzing a similar effect on American populations you do consider White, Black and Hispanic cohorts separately. Is there any reason to expect the whole multi-ethnic African continent to be a uni-modal IQ distribution?
Rahul, my friend, apart from small colonies descended from non-Africans* there are no African population groups of significance with group IQ means over 100. Look at the table I linked. As I noted, there certainly are groups on the continent with different means (cf. Egyptians at 85-ish, Zimbabweans at 70-ish, Equatorial Guineans at 60-ish) and it would make a difference which group(s) immigrants were drawn from, but for the purpose of a quick analysis of possible highly-educated (high IQ) black African immigration a lumped estimate of 70 for background group IQ mean seems pretty fair.
*In historical times. It appears all humans descended from Africans in distant prehistory.
That Table has nation-level data; that was not what I was talking about; we need finer granularity. Take India for example. Your Table gives an average IQ of 81. Indians immigrating to the US predominantly come from a select set of “privileged” caste and class structures. And the offspring of these Indians aren’t likely to regress down to IQ=81; these are cohorts having a distinctly different (superior) IQ distribution from the Indian average.
Anecdotaly, the 2nd generation Indians are doing very well indeed but I’d love to see a rigorous IQ survey if it exists.
I am not sure what the African situation is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you got similar selective “smart” cohort immigration. Country-level data obscures these nuances.
If we are going to accept the IQ-superiority of Whites over Blacks it is a bit simplistic to then ignore similar such stratification within the Blacks.
According to Henry Harpending here (http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/class-caste-and-genes/#comment-436), who hopefully knows something about this, if you separate out a subpopulation for superior IQ then
“If classes were sealed into legal castes, as you suggest, then genetic differences would not collapse, they would just sit there unchanging.
Remember that all the regression to the mean happens in one generation.”
So, based on this, there would not be *any* regression in the second generation (the grandchildren). Their ability level would just sit there unchanging, although they would have a truncated SD. This is probably what happens with the Castes Rahul refers to – low SDs and high means.
I’m not well qualified to dispute Harpending, but I don’t think I’m trying to, either.
Rather than assuming “classes… sealed into legal castes,” I assume intermarriage with the surrounding population (subject to the usual sorting pressures), though in response to other commenters I was willing to look at first-generation immigrants mating only with each other (I doubt immigrant mating would be quite so constrained in real life).
The “one generation only” regression-toward Harpending was remarking on appears to have been in the specially- constrained model he was discussing. Ordinary regression toward the mean operates in every generation (and is statistically-visible both “forward and backward;” on average parents drawn from a large population are closer to the mean than any of their children, though individuals’ scores (on whatever criteria) vary). There is always a question about the selection of the population which defines the mean, and that’s where Harpending’s remarks come in– he was talking about a remarkably restricted population (or several such), I think.
I think from the discussion, what Harpending is stating is that any subset of a wider population reproductively isolated from the superset will regress towards the subset mean, after an initial generation due to loss of the environment factor which made that subset unique, and which is basically random variation as far as we can tell and not really related to SES at all.
That could be a population reproductively isolated by actually physically taking them to a different country from the superpopulation, or by social barriers. Probably both happened in the case of say the Ashkenazi Jews – both the elite Jews were able to emmigrate to north and central Europe (and to Europe generally) to fill a niche as traders, and were isolated from their dumber fellows and dumber host populations, respectively by geographical and social barriers. In addition to specific selection while within that niche.
If you took say, Chinese who were 15 points lower than the Chinese mean even after all the environmental variance was washed out in a single generation, then all their subsequent generations would just sort of sit at that level for ever, or until selection took them someplace else.
The only point I’m really disagreeing with you here is on “I get mean IQ of 100 for the first generation offspring, and 88 for the second-generation”. We wouldn’t get any 88 IQ second generation in your hypothetical, as per Harpending. We’d get a 100 IQ first generation and a 100 IQ second generation and if they never intermarried with other groups they’d just sort of stay like that.
Of course, you are right that they would almost perfectly regress to a Black American mean if they were a small population essentially swallowed up by them,
Referring to a country as it was called 33 years ago points to an extraordinary mindset. I was travelling through the US a few years ago and met a man in a hotel bar in Dallas who wouldn’t accept that I was from “Zimbabwe”. He insisted that I was “Rhodesian”. He was a dangerous bigot, as it turned out.
While I agree we should use the most current up to date names for countries, I also think we should stick to addressing the substance of comments instead of thinly veiled ad hominems via anecdotes.
Well, maybe since he was referring to the historical refugees it made sense to use the name that existed back then?
The substance, such as “the African mean is one of very low intelligence and high aggression”…yes. Horrible, bigotted stuff indeed.
“What is driving increasing African migration to the U.S.?”
It’s a mystery! Clearly, no less than twenty academic papers need to be published before we have a chance of gleaning an answer to this puzzle of all puzzles.
Sarcasm? If so why?
Tyler doesn’t know what that is, he only goes near a television to ask for directions.
5. The tacocopter is an example of something that can only work as it is. You can’t take a whole pizza. Dancing and talkies just worked. Is there a name in economics for this, how shall I say, ‘structural path-dependent technological development’?
Wow, Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in the “Girl Hunt” scene from “Bandwagon”! They should scrub those ugly faces off of Mount Rushmore and replace them with those two.
The statistic that surprised me was that “74% of African immigrants in the US are ‘highly educated'”.
Not sure what their defination of “highly educated” is, but surely upsets the stereotypes of Miley etc. in the comments above.
The average IQ of Africans is irrelevant; what matters is how smart are the ones coming here.
Reasonable point, but care to note, stereotypes != population averages. For example, East Asians and their descendants having higher IQs and lower crime rates than Africans is an observed population average, not a stereotype.
I was really mocking the attitude of a subset of white liberals in the first place, not necessarily making a commentary on African immigration in itself. I personally think we should take the brightest and most well-behaved of any country, and I think everyone would agree an African PhD holder would make for a better immigrant than an English chav… just like an East Asian engineer vs. a Mexican construction worker.
On # 4 (sorry for skipping over the fascinating discussion of the shocking news of more people of African descent in the U.S.), both the links are deeply silly and neither are worth clicking on.
South American lacks the museums with the huge art collections that you find in the U.S. and Europe, which is an interesting topic in itself. For example, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio are OK but are probably as good as the fifth or sixth best art museum in New York, if you are generous. But the Banco de Brasil has opened up a cultural center in its former headquarters in Rio which puts on excellent exhibitions throughout the year. And these are mobbed, to a large extent because of the lack of alternative venues.
So three of their exhibitions last year made a list of the top twenty in terms of attendance at blockbuster exhibitions, which once you understand the context, is meaningless. So a long article is spun based on a triviality.
#1. Congrats but the article could have been a bit more interesting. Maybe they should have told that Tyler-knows-everything-Cowen type of academic is in fashion.. given that it is a fashion magazine! Or maybe they could present your music, book or art collection!
Why does the Swedish video in #2 have english text?
Important excerpt from the abstract in #6: “overall trends were driven by increases in Diversity Visa migration, refugee movements, and the migration of immediate relatives. However, significant declines were observed in employment-related emigration from Africa to the U.S.”
Why in the world do we have a “diversity visa” randomly granting people residence? And how does it benefit the U.S to allow relatives a leg up in migrating? I suppose the refugee thing is for humanitarian reasons, but in cases where lives are at risk, how about settling them in a middle income country where the cost of living is lower, since refugees earn much less money than those who come as skilled workers?
On #2 – Well, the ad is for the Nordic Battle Group, not Sweden specifically, and English is a rather common tongue in the region.
Yes, I assume they are trying to attract some Finns as well?
You look good in the italian vogue picture.
Did Vogue take that picture, or is it one you’ve had done previously? If Vogue did it, how long did they spend on getting you just right?
#6 Could it be that “between 1975 and 2005 the size, diversity and sophistication of industry in Africa have all declined”, as reported on this very blog?
Eh, this isn’t new. Years ago there was a British startup that developed a similar scheme. They actually used sparrows to deliver coconuts, but the basic concept was the same. I think it fizzled out when the local swallows didn’t work out and there was a hangup in getting enough import licenses for African swallows.
I think that it is the difference between pride and guilt, no?
Maybe I would feel a little guiltier about my standard of living compared to others if I had 8 weeks of vacation a year. I don’t. I haven’t had 8 weeks of vacation in total over the last 5. I work my ass off, and I’m proud of what I accomplish.
Pretty good comparison, isn’t it?
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