Monday, May 10, 2010

IQ and the Wealth of Nations: Measuring the Immeasurable

This article is a reaction to the book “IQ and the Wealth of Nations” written by a University of Ulster psychology professor Richard Lynn. Wile the book has stirred a lot of controversy, I would like to show that Lynn’s results, even if assumed to be true, have no implications for either economics or ethics. Value is in the mind of the individual. It is subjective. The value of individual ends can only be measured by the individual in question and it cannot be compared across individuals. Neither IQ is a measure of one’s ability to meet own wants and needs nor GDP is a measure of satisfaction of one's wants and needs - because no such measure exists. In addition, Lynn’s results do not change the fact that individuals are free to associate with others using their own criteria. Therefore, no normative prescriptions can be derived from these results.

The full article can be seen here.