Thursday, June 10, 2021

Is skin tone correlated with job prestige?

The General Social Survey rated the skin darkness of a sample of black Americans, ranging from "very dark brown" to "very light brown." Biologically oriented researchers might see the question as a rough measure of the percentage of European ancestry, while sociologists would see it as a measure of discrimination--lighter-skinned blacks getting better treatment. Respondents were also given a job prestige score that ranges from 16 to 80--16 is a shoeshine and 80 is a physician. Here are the job prestige means listed by skin tone:

You can see that average job prestige tends to rise with lighter skin. The mean for blacks with "very light brown" skin is roughly two-thirds of a standard deviation higher than the mean for "very dark skin" blacks. 

The pattern can be interpreted in at least two ways: 1) genetic--blacks with more European ancestry tend to rise in the status hierarchy much more than African blacks, or 2) sociological--whites discriminate more against darker blacks, and perhaps light-skinned blacks have white (privileged) relatives who gave them advantages. 

For several reasons, I'm inclined toward the genetic explanation. For one, my experience is that when a white person is interacting with a black person, his thought is, "I'm talking with a black person," not, "I'm talking with a light-skinned black person." For another, how do those Nigerian immigrants do so well in the US when their skin tends to be so dark? The sociologist would predict severe discrimination. The biologist would argue that African immigrants are a select group of Africans--above average in IQ and drive--and this overwhelms any bias they might experience. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

Do blacks and whites who grow up equally wealthy end up with the same mean IQ?

Some people argue that mean IQs for whites and blacks differ because blacks tend to come from poorer families. A black kid raised with resources equal to a white kid will have the same IQ. Is this the case? 

Using data from the General Social Survey, I calculated mean IQ for blacks, whites, and others for several ranges of father's socioeconomic index (SES): 1-2 standard deviations (sd) below average, 1 sd below average to average, average to 1 sd above average, 1-2 sds above average, and over 2 sds. The sample size is 12,016 (immigrants were excluded). Here's a graph that summarizes the results: 

Blacks and whites raised at the same SES level do not have the same mean IQs. The higher white average ranges from about 7 points among the poorest group to more than 10 points among the wealthiest group. By the way, other non-whites--mostly Hispanics--are closer to blacks than whites. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Who is more likely to be murdered by a black offender: a white or an Asian?

 Wilfred Reilly (@wil_da_beast630) has a discussion going on at Twitter about which race currently faces the most "systemic racism." Some people are assuming that Asians are victimized by blacks more than whites are. Two sources of data are not very helpful here: hate crimes and victimization data from the National Crime Victimization Survey. Hate crimes are a tiny drop in the bucket of all violence, and you don't see NCVS tables with Asian victims by race of offender. (Let me know if I've missed them.) Victim data in general indicates that Asians face low levels of victimization, which makes sense because most crime is intra-racial, and Asians have very low rates of criminal offending. 

Perhaps homicide data is the best way to go here. I looked at expanded FBI homicide data and the Census to calculate rates for being murdered by a black person for two groups: 1) Whites/Hispanics, and 2) Asians/ Native Americans/Pacific Islanders. I'm afraid the FBI lumps people together that way. The rate for group 1 is 2.30 murders per 1 million population. For group 2, it's 1.44 murders per million. According to FBI data, blacks pose more of a threat to whites and Hispanics than Asians plus. 

Monday, May 03, 2021

Which low IQ groups have low arrest rates?

DGo (@Go321) on Twitter wondered which lower IQ groups still manage to be well-behaved as groups. Criminality is a decent measure of behavior, so I looked at General Social Survey data to see which groups with low average IQs also have lower than average arrest rates: 

The percent arrested for the whole country is 12.7%. The groups listed above with an arrest rate lower than that are: Filipinos, West Indians, and Non-Spanish West Indians. And let me add that these three groups have IQ means that are not very low: 96.7, 98.8, and 95.9, respectively. 

Most lower-IQ groups have high arrest rates, as expected.

UPDATE: After checking, I see that Arabs do not have a low mean IQ: it's 102.   

Sunday, May 02, 2021

It's a clean sweep: IQ is more predictive of education, income, and job prestige than dad's social class

 Someone at Twitter, I forget now, wondered if IQ or one's social class was more important for adult success. Well, the General Social Survey can help with this. I threw in basic demographics as controls. 

Here are OLS results for income:

Looking at the betas, you can see that IQ is more strongly predictive of income than father's socioeconomic status (PASEI). Notice how race is not statistically significant when IQ is included in the model. 

And job prestige? 

IQ is much more predictive of job prestige than father's PASEI. 

The results for education should be even stronger for IQ:


The beta for IQ is much larger than for dad's social class. How far one goes in school depends much more on brains than dad's wallet (or his other influences). 

Friday, April 30, 2021

An updated analysis of the 2020 election: CPS data

In December, I posted data that make me skeptical about the integrity of the 2020 election. This is an update with new data.

In the December analysis, I reported that 158.4 million voted for US President but based on an estimate derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS), only 158.1 million were registered. Impossible. The CPS didn't have current data in December. Now they do, and they report that 168.3 million were registered in November 2020. This stunned me since the CPS estimated only 153.1 million in November 2018, so total registrations increased 15.2 million in only two years, 2018-20. For context, here's the total number registered by year since 1968:

Total number registered to vote (in millions)

1968       86.6

1972       98.5

1976       97.8

1980     105.1

1984     116.1

1988     118.6

1992     126.6

1996     127.7

2000     129.5

2004     142.1

2008     146.3

2012     153.2

2016     157.6

2018     153.1

2020     168.3  

The biggest four-year increase was 2000-2004 with 12.6 million additional registrations. Such a big increase makes the 10.7 million 2016-2020 plausible, but it's weird that the total went from 157.6 million in 2016 down to 153.1 million in 2018, then it increased 15.2 million in only two years, a bigger increase than any 4-year increase since 1968! Weird but possible. By the way, the margin of error for the CPS is less than a million.  

168.3 million registered people in November 2020 means 94.1% of registered voters voted for President. Election experts say that 90-95% of registered voter voting is indicative of election fraud. Countries like Australia that mandate voting can't get 94% of registered voters to vote. 

For context, here are the percentage of registered voters who voted going back to 1960:

Percent of registered voters who voted

1960   107.8

1964     95.1

1968     89.4

1972     79.8

1976     77.7

1980     76.5

1984     74.6

1988     74.5

1992     71.2

1996     65.9

2000     67.5

2004     70.0

2008     89.8

2012     84.3

2016     86.8

2020     94.1

The years 1960 and 1964 look screwy, but the only other year that looks suspicious is 2020. I'm still not convinced that there was not enough funny business to change the election outcome. 

By the way, according to CPS, 154.6 million people said they voted. According to the official count, 3.8 million additional votes were cast. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

What predicts virginity among young American men?

 According to the General Social Survey, 28% of American men under 30 report not having sex since they turned 18. I was baffled by that and wanted to know what predicts virginity among young men. 

Using General Social Survey data, I looked at a long list of possible predictors but found that most factors are unrelated. As you can see below, being younger predicts virginity (not surprisingly). More educated men are more likely to be virgins which cuts against the claim that high-status men are the ones who get sex. (Income and job prestige were not predictive.) 

Never going to bars and not watching an X-rated film in the past year predicted virginity. So porn doesn't look like a substitute for sex: sexually active men are more likely to watch porn. Perhaps celibate men tend to have lower levels of testosterone? Men who go to bars are more likely to have sex, so men who make an effort or who are more social are more likely to have sex. 

The GSS doesn't have many personality-type questions, so I wasn't able to look at traits like introversion or social awkwardness, but if you've got other ideas for unconventional variables, let me know. 

Is skin tone correlated with job prestige?

The General Social Survey rated the skin darkness of a sample of black Americans, ranging from "very dark brown" to "very lig...