Journal of Economic Growth

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 71–93

Intelligence, Human Capital, and Economic Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach

  • Garett Jones
  • W. Joel Schneider
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10887-006-7407-2

Cite this article as:
Jones, G. & Schneider, W.J. J Econ Growth (2006) 11: 71. doi:10.1007/s10887-006-7407-2


Human capital plays an important role in the theory of economic growth, but it has been difficult to measure this abstract concept. We survey the psychological literature on cross-cultural IQ tests and conclude that intelligence tests provide one useful measure of human capital. Using a new database of national average IQ, we show that in growth regressions that include only robust control variables, IQ is statistically significant in 99.8% of these 1330 regressions, easily passing a Bayesian model-averaging robustness test. A 1 point increase in a nation’s average IQ is associated with a persistent 0.11% annual increase in GDP per capita.


IntelligenceHuman capitalEconomic growth

JEL Classifications


Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garett Jones
    • 1
  • W. Joel Schneider
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics and FinanceSouthern Illinois UniversityEdwardsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA