> China was among the 10 of 107 countries that engaged in the least age heaping in 1890.

Don't disagree with overall thesis, but this isn't great evidence. Chinese heap differently - by 12 year intervals of the Chinese calendar.

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Also, Taiwan was created by the migration of Han people into the Island in the 17th century, it's not a corrupt dictatorship like China and Becker gives them an IQ of around 106 based on several good studies which is in line with their results in international tests like PISA and it's a similar story for Singapore as well.

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Aug 20, 2023Liked by Sebastian Jensen

Debate krichard1212 on IQ

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I would add additional consideration:

1. IQ by provinces from iodine study are valid. They predict performance of China on math section of PISA very well(predict 540 and 580 on 2015,2018 PISA math, in reality 531 and 591).

2. Chinese probably have quite strong visuo-spatial tilt, around 5-6 IQ points based on PISA results. So we have around 103-104 visuo-spatial IQ, around 98 verbal IQ and around 101 full scale IQ. Little bit smaller than 103 of American whites.

3. Dysgenic is probably far more stronger for China than US. Plotting regional IQ against regional tfr show no relationship for US, and pretty strong negative relationship in China(that 4 provinces of China that participated in PISA 2018, have one of the highest IQ and lowest tfr in the world). My calculations suggested that number of high IQ individuals would halve in China in comparison to US(without taking immigration of high IQ immigrants into account, which worsen situation for China even more).

4. East asian countries have per capita elite scientific research production only in 40% level of US.

I think it all makes strong case for another American century

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Never doubted the scores, I only doubted whether they are indicative of intelligence differences or not. For instance, given how consequential IQ-like tests are for many people in China (The civil service exams, for instance), and their general obsession with education, it would make sense to me if they had inflated IQ scores compared to their actual "g".

The same away a 125 IQ midwit who studies like hell may well get a better score on the SAT than a 140 IQ student that is not as well prepared.

Would you give any weight to this possibility?

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I side with the lower IQ estimates -Malloy has pointed out there are studies in Chinese rural areas with average IQs with the 90s, 80s, and even 70s.


At this point, China is roughly as rich as Thailand or Argentina -both with avg IQs of ~86. There is grave inequality of IQ within China itself, given that China is more a continent than a country -Zhejiang and Jiangsu are nothing like Hebei and Hunan, and Taiwan (scoring ~102 in recent PISA results) is certainly one of the most intellectually oriented parts of China. China is well known to be less intellectually oriented than Japan, which, by recent PISA scores, is around 103, with Britain at 100.

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