Links – 04/13/2014

  • The word “entrée” is used to mean something like appetizer in France, yet in the US it’s used to mean something like “main dish”, i. e. pretty much the opposite. I have always been very puzzled by that, but Nora Matland wrote a very good post, on her blog where she explains how this came to be.
  • Sean Trende argues that Estes’s narrow victory in Kansas need not worry the Republicans, although he isn’t saying that they have nothing to worry about. I also think the point he makes in passing on the kind of campaign Thompson ran is important.
  • Stalin is famously supposed to have said that “a single death is a tragedy, but a million is just a statistic”. This interesting article investigates the origin of that quote and finds that it may actually have come from a French diplomat.
  • Nate Cohn argues that turnout wasn’t really a strong factor in Clinton’s defeat in 2016. I think that, even immediately after the election, this was pretty clear, but it’s nice to see a more thorough analysis based on better data.
  • According to this paper, published in 2010 in Educational researcher, the effect of IQ on economic success is almost entirely mediated by educational attainment. I haven’t read the paper yet, but it seemed interesting, so I wanted to flag it.

2 thoughts

  1. But what is educational attainment mediated by? (Turtles all the way down.) If educational attainment depends on IQ, we have an interesting but trivial result with respect to contemporary society, but an interesting historical/sociological question arises. In societies previous to industrialization, did IQ explain socioeconomic success but via some other mediating mechanism? Or did IQ not correlate with success?

    1. Sorry for the late reply. Of course, it’s extremely plausible that a lot of the effect of IQ on income is mediated by education, but I’m guessing there is still a lot of variation in IQ at each level of education, so if the independent effect of IQ is small, it would still be a meaningful result. I haven’t read the paper yet, so I don’t know to what extent this is true.

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