Monday, February 27, 2012

Class, brains and income

Class (SES; author uses "SEB" = Socio-Economic Background) primarily affects starting salaries, whereas intelligence affects salary growth over time. Don't tell the sociologist down the hall -- he or she might lash out at you. (Click for larger figure.)

Note, in the figure the curves for above or below average SEB are computed at fixed (mean) IQ and vice versa. (So, e.g., one curve describes people with average IQ but above average SEB; another describes people with average SEB but above average IQ, etc.) It is only a coincidence (see last sentence in excerpt below) that the effect on age 19 income of being above or below average in SEB is approximately the same as for IQ. Were it not for this numerical coincidence the two high curves and the two low curves would not coincide at the age 19 intercept.

IIRC (from some earlier work), controlling for IQ (AFQT score) in this dataset (NLSY) eliminates almost all the earnings differential between blacks and whites.

A dynamic analysis of the effects of intelligence and socioeconomic background on job-market success

Yoav Ganzach, Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Intelligence 39 (2011) 120–129

... The data were taken from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), conducted with a probability sample of 12,686 Americans (with an oversampling of Afro-Americans, Hispanics and economically disadvantaged whites) born between 1957 and 1964.

... The measure of intelligence in the NLSY is derived from participants' test scores in the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT).

... four variables as indicators of SEB: education of the two parents, parent's family income, and occupational status of the parent holding the higher occupation.

... Fig. 2 provides a graphical representation of trajectories of participants high (one standard deviation above the mean) and low (one standard deviation below the mean) on intelligence and SEB, keeping the other time- invariant variables constant at their means. It is clear from the figure that while the trajectories of high and low intelligence diverge, the trajectories of high and low SEB do not. This suggests that intelligence, but not SEB, affected the slope of wage trajectories. It also suggests that SEB affected entry wages, and that its effect was similar to the effect of intelligence.

The effects of the two characteristics on the intercept, or entry level pay, are rather similar. On the basis of the multi-level parameters, one standard deviation increase in SEB [intelligence] leads to a 4.6% [5.4%] increase in entry pay.


Robert Buttons said...

I think it has already been proven beyond a reasonable doubt we have a meritocracy. The only thing left to do is prove it to the unreasonable; not very likely the racism-industrial complex will give up their meal tickets.

The battle should have ended after:

Science 328, 710 (2010);Richard E. Green, et al.A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome

Sam H said...

I am deeply offended by this information. What's next, people going around saying that human biology is not a social construct? 

Red said...

Biological diversity is for plants and birds and bacteria, silly. Humans are completely different. 

tractal said...

Everyone agrees that humans are evolved and biologically diverse. The reasonable question is whether this process stops at the neck. 

Jeffer J said...

Aren't most genes expressed in the brain?

botti said...

***IIRC (from some earlier work), controlling for IQ (AFQT score) in this dataset (NLSY) eliminates almost all the earnings differential between blacks and whites.***

Red said...

There is evidence of diversity at, and above, the neck: substantia nigra, ligamentum flavum, sclera, red nucleus, white matter and (for the middle easterners) the sella turcica. 

Yan Shen said...

 I'm surprised that you still bother commenting here. You completely lost an argument, realized that you were on the losing end of the argument, and then for lack of anything better to say, completely snapped and lashed out at me for no apparent reason with an incredibly childish and juvenile insult. Do you have any shame? Are you not embarrassed by your behavior in the least bit?

Oh wait a minute. I forget. Being ashamed and worrying about saving face. That stuff's part of East Asian culture...

tractal said...

 Just because I insulted you for being a not very bright paranoid-obsessive ethnic chauvinist doesn't mean I lost an argument. Talking to you is a waste of time. You do not have the ability to think logically, let alone fairly. You misunderstand or miss-characterize consistently, you are extremely tendentious in every case, you make sweeping racial generalizations constantly, no matter how unwarranted. You argue as if you don't understand what I'm saying. In many cases, your confusion is obvious. You do not take the care necessary to compensate for these deficiencies. For instance, you never ask "am I understanding this right?" or "well, did you consider this?" If you misunderstand, you just thunder on. And you misunderstand often. 

In the end, arguing with you is a waste of time. You took a post on SAT prep no directly related to Asians at all, and chose to use it to bait everyone who thinks Sineruse might have a good point or two. When I tried to explain why you shouldn't be overhasty, you charged me with not understanding the data at hand (that SAT prep effects seem to be small). When I clarified that is very possible a 'striver' effect relative to G comes out nonetheless through differential educational experience, you seemed to not understand the point. To you, any proposition whatever which conflicts with the upper reasonable bounds of East Asian HBD supremacy is automatically wrong. Fancy that. 

When I brought up the surprisingly high Asian performance on SAT-V, you posited that it is being enhanced by those Indian Americans who are clearly good at verbal because they are well represented in spelling bees. Hell, that might even be true. But I want you to notice the quality of your argument. It is 100% ad hoc to defend your version of the EA HBD supremacy thesis. Had I said elsewhere "East Asians do remarkably poorly on the SAT-V, which is the most g loaded part of the exam. All the high scorers are really disproportionately Indian Americans", you would've raged like a bull in heat, called me a Neo-Nazi and an idiot, etc. 

There is no point in trying to have a discussion with that. You are simply aggressively dense. 

Yan Shen said...

"When I clarified that is very possible a 'striver' effect relative to G
comes out nonetheless through differential educational experience, you
seemed to not understand the point."

Not really. I suggested that you had the arrow of causation reversed.

"When I brought up the surprisingly high Asian performance on SAT-V, you
posited that it is being enhanced by those Indian Americans who are
clearly good at verbal because they are well represented in spelling
bees. Hell, that might even be true."

Yeah, I've noticed that I have a habit of suggesting things which probably are in fact true. Fancy that.

tractal said...

"When I clarified that is very possible a 'striver' effect relative to G comes out nonetheless through differential educational experience, you seemed to not understand the point."
"Not really. I suggested that you had the arrow of causation reversed."
Ok, but you should see that this kind of binary hardline thinking leads to an obviously unreasonable conclusion. Lets parse your version first, to see what it commits us to. 
1) East Asian academic intensity is 100% a factor of East Asian G advantage. East Asian cultural differences are not an important factor. 
A) For this to be true, we should see academic intensity in all cultures line up with G, across all populations. That is, whites with IQ 105 should have educational intensities similar to the average Asian. Moreover, Asians with IQ 100 should have educational intensities similar to the average European. In other words, this is a testable, easily falsifiable hypotheses. The numbers probably do not line up. Are East Asian Americans somewhat less likely, per capita, to take AP English than whites? 
B) Well known and widely discussed East Asian parental culture has no substantive effect on East Asian educational intensity. This seems really unlikely for all sorts of reasons. If you talk to Asian high school students about pressure to take AP and IB courses, they will often tell you there was familial pressure. Sure, that is just anecdotal, but it is a part of a broadish pattern most people recognize. Dismissing it with certainty and totality is just unreasonable. 
C) East Asian educational experience has no effect on SAT performance. Even if Asians are only taking harder course-loads because they are smarter, your thesis still demands that these course-loads not inflate their score on the SAT. In other words,  having more thorough education, more literary and mathematical exposure cannot, within the confines of this argument, have any serious effect on SAT scores. This is highly implausible. The SAT tests G, but it also tests understanding of math concepts. It tests G, but it also tests familiarity with obsureish words. It is reasonable to believe that an intense course load across a lifespan could give one an edge, relative to 'g' on these tests. 

Now, we see there are deep problems with the "G is doing all the work" hypothesis. Does this mean that "G is doing none of the work"? Not at all, and I never said anything to that effect. I simply observed that the apparently lowish effect of SAT prep does not necessarily imply that there is no striver effect relative to G. 
You didn't take the time to think through my argument. First, you read it as "G is doing none of the work", so you built yourself a straw man right off. Second, you observed that "the arrow of causality could go either way" and then took a fantastic logically leap to make that say "G is plausibly doing all of the work." 

Miley Cyrax said...

I thoroughly enjoy all the snarky comments here ridiculing liberal blank slatist egalitarians. I mean, what else can you do but laugh at them at this point? 

We have tons of empirical data that would seem to indicate average differences in intelligence among populations, and that this difference is largely grounded in genetics and plays a significant role in determining life outcomes. 

We have nothing to the contrary except for political correctness, wishful thinking, hope, faith, indignation, and sanctimony. 

Yet these people still don't care for the avalanche of evidence, and still shriek at anything that offends their delicate egalitarian sensibilities. 

botti said...

Hmmm, this blog may need a "pit" area where personal squabbles can be resolved :) 

tractal said...

Or Mr. Hsu could just ban us both, that would be fair. In any case I promise not to engage Yan Shen any more. 

Yan Shen said...

No need for a pit area, because all you need is...

steve hsu said...

I don't want to ban anyone, but aren't you guys at the point where you could easily imitate each other (i.e., as in pass a Turing test)?

Maybe you can exchange a FAQ-like point by point exchange (using google docs) so that everyone on the internet can access your combined wisdom and decide for themselves? :-)

Then on a comment thread you can just say: "This was addressed in part 3C under Princeton valedictorians relative to student population, legacies and athletes excluded" and give the hyperlink. :-)

RKU1 said...

Well, personally I really dislike "nested" commenting systems such as this one, since they usually make it quite inconvenient to follow discussions past about 70 comments.  But the one positive is that since each reply is substantially indented, the system discourages obsessively quarrelsome individuals from going more than 7 or 8 layers deep in their tit-for-tat insults and exchanges...

Yan Shen said...

Is there any system that discourages obsessive white nationalists/neo-Nazis from infesting every single Steve Hsu thread on affirmative action on here? I'm guessing probably not...

RKU1 said...

Well, it's true that I frequently infuse my remarks with a considerable amount of dry humor or satire, which certainly might be regarded by some as snideness or sarcasm.  But I don't think my moniker crops up in too many endless tit-for-tat exchanges.

David said...

This would be more useful if it tracked multiple varbiables.  How do poor smart kids do vs rich smart kids.  Or rich dumb kids vs smart poor kids.  Or how about showing how it works at the high end (+2SD thru +4SD kids that make up most of the people reading this blog).

Yan Shen said...

To be honest RKU, I appreciate your argumentative zest and have enjoyed your many epic clashes with readers of Dennis Mangan's blog. Of course, given the fact that you're probably a few SD above most of Mangan's readers in intellectual ability, many of these battles are fairly one-sided. Nevertheless, what some might refer to as obsessive quarrelsomeness, I prefer to describe more as a passion and willingness to defend what you most strongly believe in.

I referred to an earlier incident where you went toe to toe with virtually all of Mangan's readership over the supposed effects of Hispanic immigration into the United States. In fact, you so exasperated Mangan and his merry band of white nationalists/neo-Nazis, that he dedicated an entire post just to someone he believed to be you. ;) See here.

I think that you probably have the same reputation on Mangan's blog that I do here. Both of us are argumentative by nature and enjoy stirring up the pot from time to time. At heart, we're really men of a similar nature. We just happen to fighting different battles. And despite the fact that you've often antagonized Mangan's readership, I've always felt that world really is a more interesting place with people around who are argumentative and outspoken. After all, how boring would life be if everyone got along all of the time!

Iamexpert said...

Where does education fit into all this, since both class and IQ affect academic credentials which affect income.

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