Vol. 36, No. 4 (Winter 2011)
Intelligence: A Measure of Human Capital in Nations
Ross University School of Medicine
University of Ulster, Coleraine
“Human capital” is a key requirement for the establishment and maintenance of effective institutions. It is the ultimate requirement for innovation, efficient use of resources, and economic growth. This contribution describes two measures of cognitive human capital: the average IQ of the population, and the performance of school children on international scholastic assessment tests in mathematics, science, and reading. These two measures are shown to be closely correlated at the country level, and distinct from traditional measures of education. A measure of human capital is described that is derived from IQ and school achievement. Data based on measured IQ and/or school achievement are given for 168 countries and territories, and estimates based on neighboring countries with similar population, culture and economy are provided for 28 additional countries.