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February 07, 2008



I was about to post a whole load of relevant theory but this is more valid: If there's ever a breakthrough on inflation it is likely to be discovered by someone with an education. :)


Does it make any difference what the people are educated in?


I got diverted by the 'sceptical' link which contained some treasures.

The more I look into it, the more it seems that the most parsimonious explanation of educational differentials in modernizing societies is that both education and signalling are less important than we realize; and that IQ is the major factor with personality/ temperament as an important secondary factor.

To parody, IQ and temperament are destiny (with a high IQ and a conscientious temperament being optimal on average for both status and income). Several longitudinal IQ studies have shown near-perfect social mobility wrt IQ (ie. poor kids with IQ rise to the level predicted by their IQ; rich kinds with low IQ fall).

The picture is modified by the fact that IQ is substantially inherited, and that there are big average IQ differences between social classes.

IQ and temperament predict educational attainment - however, of course, educational credentials are also vital, and add noise to this correlation (no matter how clever and hardworking you are, you can't be a doctor without a degree - but you could still become an entrepreneur).

In the long term, as psychometric testing improves or is all-but replaced by genetic testing - and when the relatively modest effects of education become established - it may be that the amount of time spent in full time education will begin to diminish, and will become much more focused.

Matt Munro

Could someone explain what a "rent seeker" is in words of one sylabble ?

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