The Economics of Meritocracy: The Economics of Christianity – Pt. 2

Author’s Note: Recently, I participated in a religious conversation about meritocracy. I noticed that the conversation was almost exclusively focused on economic subjects, such as how resources should be allocated, but was devoid of economic concepts and vocabulary. This article is an attempt to utilize modern economics to describe the implications of various interpretations of Protestant christian theology.

Economic Implications & Benefits of Meritocratic Theology

Figure 2: Meritocracy Incentive-Behavior Relationship: Dual-Input, Dual-Output
Figure 3: Neo-Classical Economic Framework - Wage & Labor Market

A theology that promotes strict meritocracy follows the Western tradition of individualism. As shown in Fig. 2, the meritocratic incentive structure operates at the individual level. In the illustrated (and greatly simplified) model, if an individual is exposed to the Christian Meritocracy Incentive, he has two options: (i) continue with his status quo behavior (Maintain) or (ii) alter his behavior so that it aligns with the virtues and expectations of meritocratic theology (Adjust). 

The Adjust option entails the prioritization of personal responsibility, financial health and personal optimization. 

 

Personal optimization refers to the utilization of “God-given” talents and work ethic to “be all you can be”. 

A key component of this behavioral adjustment is the newfound reverence for delayed gratification and the stigmatization of impulsivity and instant gratification. The total belief in meritocracy means that the individual will believe that the alteration of his behavior will lead to a “good” or “relatively better” outcome than the status quo. Conversely, it also means that he believes maintaining his behavior will lead to a “bad” or “relatively worse” outcome than the alternative.

Meritocratic Incentive Translated Into A Neo-Classical Economic Framework

For an individual to be motivated to change his behavior, he needs to have an economic framework in mind. In the case of meritocracy (see Fig. 4), that framework will closely resemble a simplified Neoclassical economic model. This framework allows for a sort of Rawlsian “Original Position” economic thought experiment involving an individual when he is first exposed to the Meritocracy Incentive shown in Fig. 1: assuming his original position is in a low-skilled (LS) profession (or unemployed), he can either modify his behavior to attain a job in a high-skilled (HS) profession OR opt to maintain his behavior. 

So, within the context of an economic framework, the Meritocratic Incentive becomes Fig. 5.

Figure 4: Meritocracy Economic Framework
Figure 5: Meritocracy Incentive in the Context of an Economic Framework
The Demand Curve & Marginal Revenue Product of Labor (MRPL)

In this framework, there are only two categories of professions: low-skilled professions (LS)and high-skilled professions (HS). As shown in Fig. 6, the demand curve for each profession category is a function of the marginal revenue product of labor (MRPL).

The demand curve for skilled labor (DHS) is to the right of the demand curve for unskilled labor (DLS). This is due to the fact that skilled workers’ output has a higher societal value (as determined by the market) and therefore can be sold for a higher price.

Another way to think of the demand curve is the market’s marginal willingness to pay for an addition unit of a good. In Fig. 7, there are two quantities of hours demanded, Q¹ and Q². At Q¹, the market values one additional hour of high-skilled labor at P¹ and one additional hour of low-skilled labor at P¹’. 

Figure 6: Marginal Revenue Product of Labor is greater for High-Skilled Workers than for Low-Skilled Workers. As a result, the demand for High-Skilled Workers is greater than the demand for Low-Skilled Workers.
Figure 7: Demand is the Market's Marginal Willingness to Pay

The market’s willingness to pay for an additional hour of either type of human capital decreases as greater quantities of hours are commissioned. However, for every quantity of labor possible, an additional hour of high-skilled labor will be valued at a higher price than an additional hour of low-skilled labor. Hence, P¹>P¹’, P²>P²’, etc.

Price Elasticity of Labor Demand

Our understanding of the differences between the two demand curves is enriched by a brief examination of their respective price elasticities of demand (represented by η in Fig. 8). The price elasticity of labor demand measures how much the quantity of labor hours demanded changes as a result of a change in price. 

For the vast majority of goods and services, as the price rises, lower quantities of the good or service are demanded. However, the rate of the decrease in the quantity demanded is a function of the price elasticity of demand. When there is a price increase for a highly elastic good, the quantity demanded decreases substantially. Likewise, the quantity demanded for a highly inelastic good will not decrease as severely in response to a comparable price hike. 

As shown in Fig. 8, the price elasticity of labor demand is lower for high-skilled labor than it is for low-skilled labor. In other words, high-skilled labor is relatively inelastic and low-skilled labor is relatively elastic.

If we imagine, as illustrated in Fig. 8, that the price for low-skilled labor and high-skilled labor is set equal to P2, and is then increased to P1, the decrease in the quantity of labor demanded will be greater for low-skilled workers than for high-skilled workers. 

Thus, the implication for a meritocratic theology is that, in addition to having a higher marginal revenue product of labor, high-skilled workers’ jobs are more resistant to price shocks than low-skilled workers’ jobs. It’s another incentive for achievement.

Figure 8: Price Elasticity of Labor Demand (HS vs. LS)
Labor Supply
Figure 9: Labor Supply (LS) is a function of Human Capital Marginal Cost (HCMC)

As shown in Figures 9, 10, & 11, the supply curve for each profession category is determined by the marginal cost of acquiring human capital (HCMC). Because higher-skilled professions require higher levels of human capital, in terms of both education and work experience, the human capital marginal cost is greater for high-skilled workers than for low-skilled workers. The greater marginal cost of high-skilled professions means that the supply curve of high-skilled workers will always be to the left of the low-skilled workers’ supply curve. 

The equilibrium wage rate of high-skilled workers (WHS), shown in Figures 3 & 4, is above and to the left of the low-skilled equilibrium wage rate (WLS). Because greater levels of human capital investment are required to secure a job in a high-skilled profession, high-skilled workers expect higher levels of compensation than their low-skilled comrades.

Figure 10: Marginal Cost of acquiring Human Capital (HCMC) is greater for High-Skilled workers than for Low-Skilled Workers. As a result, the supply of High-Skilled Workers will be less than the supply of Low-Skilled Workers.
Figure 11: Labor Supply
Objectivity and Clarity of Societal Expectations

There are benefits to a meritocratic theology. The most obvious of these is that the meritocratic mechanism provides an objective basis for the allocation of resources. The valuation of achievement, driven by competence, work ethic, and other positive qualities, allows for the standardization of societal expectations for resource allocation. In meritocracies, the incentive is the same for all individuals; compensation is determined by productivity and competence.  

  • In an Olympic tryout for the 1600 meter race, all athletes know that only the top two runners will get to join the Olympic team. All runners have an objective understanding of what they need to do to garner a spot on the Olympic team.
  • In a sales department (Always Be Selling), the employees with the highest sales figures get the highest bonuses and are the first to be promoted. 
  • In a university, the faculty members that get offered tenure are the ones who produced the most scholarly publications.

The universal incentive of a meritocratic theology allows for planning for the future. An individual who hears and internalizes a meritocratic theology has the benefit of being able to engage in long-term planning so that she can map out the next months or years of her life in order to move from a low-skilled profession to a high-skilled profession, as differentiated in Fig. 4. 

In the absence of any meritocratic incentive, a Christian has no reason to hope for improved circumstances, has no reason to believe that her actions impact her situation, has no coherent framework to plan for the future, and, perhaps most consequential theologically, without a feasible path to acquire material resources beyond the bare essentials necessary for survival, she has no way to provide the charity to the poor that is mandated by the Gospel. 

The imperative to the care for the poor belies the Bible’s assumption that inequality is a state of nature. Christ does not command his followers to achieve complete equity through the type of societal restructuring that hardline social justice activists call for. Christ commands his followers to care for the poor, not to eradicate the notion of poverty. 

The Limitations of Pure Meritocracy

Figure 12: Distribution of IQ by Profession (50th Percentile)

The obvious problem of meritocratic theology (and meritocracy in general) is that it will inevitably lead to inequality and inequity. For starters, all individuals don’t start out with the same resources and opportunities: same parent education, same stable two-parent upbringing, etc. The cliché metaphor of runners having a head start in a race against their competition has been overused but it remains true. 

Sadly, the reality is that pure meritocracy would lead to inequality even if all individuals started out from a point of equal distribution of resources. While Christianity teaches that all men and women were made in the image of God, and therefore are all equally precious to him, it does not teach that all men and women are equal in their talents, abilities and personalities. We’ll examine the distribution of endowments of two individual variables. The variation of individual endowments highlights how pure meritocracy is not a stable system, nor is it compatible with the Gospel. 

IQ

“Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—“catching on,” “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do.” ♠ 

– 52 Intelligence Experts in the Wall Street Journal (1994)

IQ/Intelligence is a controversial subject, but it is one of the most robust (in terms of predictive validity) behavioral metrics ever produced. However, many, due to political biases, have attempted to discredit the method for measuring intelligence: IQ tests. 

Utah Valley University psychology professor Russell Wayne’s job involves auditing undergraduate psychology textbooks for factual mistakes. He said: ◊

“The most common inaccuracy I found, by far, was the claim that intelligence tests are biased against certain groups. Another, very common one was the idea that intelligence is difficult to measure.”

Rex Jung, Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico, echoed Wayne’s sentiment: ◊

“Despite the critiques, the intelligence test is one of the most reliable and solid behavioral tests ever invented.”

IQ is correlated with virtually every measure of success, from educational attainment to professional achievement to income and wealth. However, correlation doesn’t prove causation. ♠♦ The advantages of a high IQ are not constrained to the Western Hemisphere. A study published by the Association for Psychological Science found that, out of 90 countries, for each percentage point increase in a country’s average IQ, the per capita GDP went up between $229 and $468. The studies authors stated: ∫

“Intelligence of the people, particularly the smartest 5 percent, made a big contribution to the strength of their economies.”

The good news is that if a person exceeds a certain IQ threshold, there’s not much that they can’t accomplish. Intelligence researchers believe that if a person has an IQ of 115, they can do virtually any job if they’re willing to put in the time necessary to master the requisite skills. ∇

Sadly, but obviously, intelligence is not evenly distributed. The degree to which genetics and environment determine the variation in IQ is controversial. However, most experts agree that both genetics and environmental factors, such as prenatal care, physical abuse, and early childhood intellectual stimulation, affect intelligence levels. 

IQ tests, by design, are normally distributed with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 10. People with a significantly below average IQ (<90) have a much higher chance of becoming impoverished, becoming incarcerated, and are 88 times more likely to drop out of high school. ∇ Lower IQ scores are linked to an increased risk of suicide. ⊗ In a world where cognitive skills continue to increase in value, manual labor continues to be devalued by automation, and technological advancement continues to widen this gap, there are fewer opportunities for low-intelligence individuals to succeed. This is a profoundly troubling moral problem. 

Figures 12 & 13 provide a visual for the variation in IQ. Each of the points in Fig. 12 represent the middle 50th percentile IQ (of individuals sampled) for the labeled profession. The lowest median value belongs to janitors. You’ll notice that there are no data points to the right of 90. Because IQ is normally distributed, the distance between 70 and 90 is two standard deviations. The area of that region of the bell curve represents 15.87% of the human population. This is far from a trivial value; nearly 16% of humans have an IQ lower than the median IQ of a janitor. 

A theology of pure meritocracy ignores the brutal realities and inequities of the variation in human intelligence. In today’s hyper-technological labor market, the probability of an individual with an IQ of 90 earning more than someone with an IQ of 120 is virtually zero. Work ethic, conscientiousness and integrity cannot overcome an IQ variance of 30 when one individual is below the median (100).

However, it must be noted that there is tremendous overlap between professions. For example, the highest IQ score for janitors is greater than the lowest IQ score for physicians.

Figure 13: Distribution of IQ by Profession (All Percentiles)

It is perfectly possible to have a below average IQ and be highly successful, in terms of a variety of measures, in life. Strong work ethic, dedication, integrity, character, and other noble qualities can overcome IQ deficits. But make no mistake, an IQ deficit is a profound disadvantage in the modern global marketplace.

Personality
Figure 14: Big Five Personality Trait Model (w/ sub-aspects)

For decades, economists and other social scientists have viewed personality as an endowed skill that can profoundly affect an individual’s decision-making processes and, as a result, his economic outcomes. Unlike IQ, personality is a non-cognitive endowment and is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. However, just like IQ, personality is relatively stable over time. Beneficial personality traits are not equally distributed between individuals (neither are negative ones). ⊥

The most credible measurement system, in terms of predictive validity, for quantifying personality is the Big 5 personality test. There are different versions of the test but they’re all based on the same fundamental framework. As shown in Fig. 14, the five trait dimensions of personality are agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience. Each of these primary trait dimensions has two sub-aspects. Unlike the dubious Myers-Briggs test, which arbitrarily places individuals into discrete personality profiles (INTJ, etc. – all of which have a plethora of advantages but no disadvantages), the Big Five test calculates where individuals fall within the population distribution for every trait and sub-aspect. Not all personality endowments are equal in their capacity to create economic surplus. Ψ

The first trait is AGREEABLENESS, which is the main dimension of interpersonal interaction in the Big Five model.

“People high in agreeableness are nice: compliant, nurturing, kind, naively trusting and conciliatory. However, because of their tendency to avoid conflict, they often dissemble and hide what they think. People low in agreeableness are not so nice: stubborn, dominant, harsh, skeptical, competitive and, in the extreme, even predatory. However, they tend to be straightforward, even blunt, so you know where they stand.” – The Big Five Aspects Scale η

Unlike some of the other personality dimensions, agreeableness isn’t strongly correlated with the political Right or Left. Agreeable people thrive in teaching, nursing, and other “people-centered” professions that require the ability to care and nurture. Disagreeable people thrive in “things-centered” professions that require the ability to systematize and/or create or analyze complex networks. These include engineering, construction and technology. η

Compassion, the first sub-trait of AGREEABLENESS, refers to concern for other individuals’ well-being (not codependency or “push-overness”). The other sub-trait, Politenessrefers to bluntness and comfort confronting others. Relative to the political Right, individuals on the Left tend to score higher in compassion and lower on politeness. η

The second trait is CONSCIENTIOUSNESSwhich is the main dimension of achievement (motivated by a sense of duty) of the model. 

“Moderately conscientious people work reasonably hard and do not want to waste time. They are less likely than average to procrastinate (particularly if they are also low in neuroticism). If a moderately conscientious person promises to do something, they will do it, and rarely be delayed. They tend to be relatively decisive, neat, organized, future-oriented, and reliable. Moderately conscientious people are more likely than average to obtain higher grades in academic settings (particularly if they are also intelligent), and to make competent administrators and managers. Moderately conscientious people are somewhat prone to guilt. They are also more sensitive than average to shame, self-disgust and self-contempt. Moderately conscientious people are committed to the idea of personal responsibility. They believe that hard work and diligence will and should be rewarded, and tend to think that those who don’t succeed deserve their failure.” (Abridged) – The Big Five Aspects Scale η

Individuals on the political Right tend to be more conscientious than those on the Left. 

Industriousness, the first sub-trait of CONSCIENTIOUSNESSrefers to dependability, adherence to deadlines, and propensity to procrastinate (and likelihood of experiencing guilt for procrastinating). There is no difference between the average industriousness of the political Left or Right. The second sub-trait, orderliness, measures an individual’s valuation of organization, standardization, and routine. High orderliness can lead to efficiency at the expense of creativity and innovation. A high measure of orderliness, second only to OPENESS TO EXPERIENCE, is a strong predictor of political conservatism. 

The third Big Five trait is EXTRAVERSION, which is the model’s main dimension of positive emotion. 

“People with high levels of extraversion are comparatively enthusiastic, talkative, assertive in social situations, and gregarious. They are typically energized by social contact, and crave it… They are likely to have positive memories of the past, high levels of current self-esteem (particularly if they are low in neuroticism), and feel positive and optimistic about the future… People who are highly extraverted have a difficult time keeping things to themselves, and tend to tell everyone everything… People high in extraversion can also be impulsive, particularly when it comes to having fun in social situations. They are more likely than average to sacrifice the future to the present, when something social or group-oriented beckons.” (Abridged) – The Big Five Aspects Scale η

A somewhat surprising psychometric finding is that individuals affiliated with the political Left are marginally LESS extraverted than those on the Right.

Enthusiasm, the first of sub-trait of EXTRAVERSION, is exactly what it sounds like. Enthusiasm levels do not correlate with political orientation. The second sub-trait, assertiveness, is also a colloquial definition. Conservatives are marginally more assertive than liberals.

The fourth trait is NEUROTICISM, which is the Big Five’s main dimension of negative emotion. 

“People with moderately high levels of neuroticism are somewhat more likely to think that things have gone wrong in the past, are going wrong now, and will continue to go wrong into the future. They are also a bit more likely to be unhappy, anxious and irritable when just thinking or remembering, and when they encounter a genuine problem. They have lower than average levels of self-esteem… Neuroticism is a risk factor for anxiety disorders and depression… Moderately high levels of neuroticism may interfere somewhat with both success and satisfaction in relationships and career, with the strongest effect on relationships. Moderately high levels of neuroticism are associated with slightly more concern about mental and physical health, as well as more physician and emergency room visits, and higher than average levels of absenteeism at work and at school…” (Abridged) – The Big Five Aspects Scale η

Members of the political Left and Right are equally likely to be high (or low) in neuroticism. The two sub-traits of NEUROTICISM are withdrawal and volatility. People who score high in withdrawal experience anxiety when facing novel or complicated challenges; sadness and self-doubt are more common in these individuals. Volatility is another sub-trait that conforms to common parlance. Members of the political Left score marginally higher than their Right counterparts on withdrawal, but neither side are more predisposed to high or low levels of volatility. 

The final Big Five trait is Openness to Experience, which is the main dimension of creativity, interest in art, and fascination with intellectual endeavors. 

“People with very high levels of openness to experience are extremely likely to be characterized by others as uncommonly smart, creative, exploratory, intelligent and visionary. They are strikingly interested in learning, and are constantly acquiring new abilities and skills… They enjoy complex, abstract ideas and love to confront and solve complex, abstract and multi-dimensional problems… They are frequently proficient at formulating new ideas, and very strongly tend to be articulate… They can formulate any single problem in an uncommonly diverse range of ways, and can generate an atypically large number of problem-solving solutions… People who are very high in openness to experience are not well adapted to and do not do well in situations or occupations that are routinized and predictable… Because people who are very high in openness to experience tend to be interested in everything, this can make it hard for them to settle on a single path in life, to specialize to a necessary degree, and to create an integrated identity.” (Abridged)  – The Big Five Aspects Scale η

A high score in this trait, more so than any other, predicts an affiliation with the political Right. The two sub-traits of OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE, intellect and openness, are both correlated with the Left.

As is the case with endowments of IQ, if every other relevant factor were controlled for, and if every individual started out with the same endowment of resources (including IQ) at birth, differences in personality profile endowments would lead to differences in economic outcomes.   

High levels of neuroticism carry significant barriers to success, economically, familiarly and personally. Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses correlated with high levels of neuroticism constrain the flourishing of both highly creative individuals and highly intelligent individuals. Extremely disagreeable, hyper-dominant individuals (the vast majority being men) have a much higher probability of ending up in prison, of being terminated from a job due to insubordination, and of dying under criminal conditions. 

Personality endowments that include low levels of neuroticism and high levels of conscientiousness, assertiveness, and openness to experience are necessary to excel in many high-paying professions. 

Agreeable people tend to earn lower incomes, on average, than disagreeable people. Many postulate that this disparity is partially due to agreeable individuals’ lessened ability or desire to aggressively negotiate salaries. The average salaries for many professions dominated by agreeable individuals (teachers, nurses, social workers, secretaries, customer service representatives, etc.) tend to be lower than professions dominated by disagreeable people (engineering, corporate finance, tech, high-level business administration, etc.).

Nothing about personality endowments is fair or equitable. Critically disadvantageous personality endowments cannot always be overcome by an individual valiantly “pulling themselves up by the bootstraps.” The inequitable distribution of coveted personality profiles is another reason why pure meritocracy will always ultimately lead to unstable societal outcomes and a need for the redistribution of resources.

The End Game of pure meritocracy

A simple thought experiment of another “ORIGINAL POSITION,” another variant of the famous John Rawls hypothetical scenario (described in 1971’s A Theory of Justice), illustrates how pure meritocracy will ultimately lead to inequality and inequity even if all human individuals start from a point of perfect egalitarianism. Imagine a hypothetical (and impossible) situation where all individuals start out with the same economic, personal and social resources. That is, every person starts out with an equivalent level of education, an intact nuclear family, cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, an equivalent amount of money in the bank, universal access to healthcare, etc.; every other potential source of economic disparity is equalized. Modern technology, infrastructure and comforts are already in place. Racism, bigotry, misogyny, and other toxic societal baggage are absent from this ideal original state. 

We can mathematically illustrate this “ORIGINAL POSITION” with a common measure in economics: the Gini Coefficient, which is shown in Fig. 15. The x-axis, going from left to right, shows the cumulative percentage of the population. The y-axis, going from bottom to top, shows the cumulative percentage of societal wealth. The Gini Coefficient measures the degree of wealth inequality in a society. A Gini Coefficient of 0 represents PERFECT EQUALITY, while a value of 1 represents PERFECT INEQUALITY.

The green line is the Lorenz Curve, which proceeds  upward from the origin with a slope of 1, and forms a 45 degree angle with the x-axis. The slope of 1 means that societal wealth is evenly distributed throughout the population. For example, twenty-five percent of the wealth belongs to twenty-five percent of the population, and so on up to the hundredth percentile; every individual has an equivalent initial endowment of wealth. 

Figure 15: "The ORIGINAL POSITION" Gini Coefficient & Lorenz Curve
Figure 20: Perfect Inequality Gini Coefficient & Lorenz Curve
Divergence from the "ORIGINAL POSITION"

In Fig. 16, we see an example of a somewhat unequal society. Here, the Lorenz Curve has moved away from the (now dashed) line of perfect equality and is curved concave upward. 

The Gini Coefficient equals the shaded area (bound by the Lorenz curve and the dotted line of perfect equality) divided by the total area of the right triangle formed by the line of perfect equality and hundredth percentile values of the x-axis and y-axis. 

Because the state of Perfect Equality in Fig. 15 has no shaded area (the Lorenz Curve EQUALS the line of perfect equality), the Gini Coefficient equals zero: [Shaded Area/(Shaded Area + Non-Shaded Area)] = 0 = G0. The Gini Coefficient in Fig. 16 is greater than zero since the numerator in the ratio is positive, which signals the presence of wealth inequality. After this initial point, the law of scarcity takes over and individuals have to compete for finite resources in a present-day setting.

Next, as shown in Figures 17 & 18, imagine that we allow for one source of variation in individuals’ personal endowment while keeping all other factors constant. Either we allow for variation in individuals’ IQ endowments OR in individuals’ personality profile endowments. 

Unfortunately, even if ALL other potential sources of economic inequality are held constant, in an environment of finite resources, individual differences in IQ OR individual differences in personality types WILL result in economic inequality AND inequity. 

The only way for this hypothetical society to maintain the total equity of the “ORIGINAL POSITION” is through the forced compulsion and reallocation of resources by the state. Assuming this society does not opt for fascist or communist totalitarianism, and instead opts for a democratic system of self-governance, the Gini Coefficient and Lorenz Curve will move away from the Fig. 15 “ORIGINAL POSITION” to Fig. 16 and then to something more akin to Fig. 19. 

Eventually, if pure meritocracy is strictly adhered to, the Gini Coefficient and Lorenz Curve will inch towards (without actually reaching) the antithesis of the “ORIGINAL POSITION”: Perfect Inequality, shown in Fig. 20. Here, the Gini Coefficient equals 1, meaning that all wealth is held by only one individual. 

While Perfect Inequality is much more of a theoretical concept than an actual possibility, there is a societal breaking point where, if too much wealth is concentrated in too small a percentage of the population, chaos will erupt. A revolution will take place where resources are forcibly reallocated. Extreme inequality isn’t even in the best interest of the ultra-wealthy.

Figure 16: Moving Away from the "ORIGINAL POSITION" Gini Coefficient & Lorenz Curve
Figure 17: Equal Except IQ Endowment
Figure 18: Equal Except Personality Endowment
Figure 19: Increased Inequality Gini Coefficient & Lorenz Curve
Figure 20: Perfect Inequality Gini Coefficient & Lorenz Curve

Thus, pure meritocracy is an unstable system. 

Note: Slight to moderate inequality is necessary to spur innovation and incentivize accomplishments that create economic surplus for society, and as a result, improve the lives of all individuals.

Click on the link below to go to Pt. 3.

Sources Referenced

◊ Geddes, Linda. (2018). “The truth about intelligence: Do IQ tests really work?” New Scientist. 

♠ Gottfredson, Linda. (1997). “Mainstream Science on Intelligence: An
Editorial With 52 Signatories, History,
and Bibliography.” The Wall Street Journal. http://www1.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997mainstream.pdf

♦Kaufman, Scott Barry. (2018). “IQ and Society: The deeply interconnected web of IQ and societal outcomes.” Scientific American. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/iq-and-society/

∇ Goldschein, Eric., Bhasin, Kim. (2011). “11 Uncomfortable Facts About How IQ Affects Your Life.” Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/facts-you-dont-want-to-know-iq-2011-11

⊗ Nicholson, Christie. (2010). “Lower IQ Scores Linked to Higher Suicide Risk.” Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/lower-iq-scores-linked-to-higher-su-10-06-05/

⊥ Cobb-Clark, Deborah., Schurer, Stefanie. (2011). “The Stability of Big-Five Personality Traits.” IZA – Institute of Labor Economics, Discussion Paper No. 5943. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1922015

∫ Association for Psychological Science. (2011). “Are the Wealthiest Countries the Smartest Countries?” https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/are-the-wealthiest-countries-the-smartest-countries.html

Ψ Peterson, Jordan B. (2017). “2017 Personality 14: Introduction to Traits/Psychometrics/The Big 5.” The University of Toronto. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCceO_D4AlY

η Understand Myself (Jordan B. Peterson). (2018). “The Big Five Aspects Scale.” UnderstandMyself.com

ℜ Hammond, Peter., (1997). “The Efficiency Theorems and Market Failure.” Department of Economics, Stanford University, CA 94305-6072, U.S.A. http://web.stanford.edu/~hammond/effMktFail.pdf

∑ Myerson, Roger B. (1991). Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict. Harvard University Press. https://books.google.com/books?id=E8WQFRCsNr0C&printsec=find&pg=PR7#v=onepage&q&f=false

∂ Burton, Roland. (2017). “Full Metal Jacket – Pvt Joker’s Born to Kill/Peace Sign and the Jungian Duality of Man.” https://rolandscivilwar.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/full-metal-jacket-pvt-jokers-born-to-killpeace-and-the-jungian-duality-of-man

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