Lessons from the Bell Curve

  title={Lessons from the Bell Curve},
  author={James J. Heckman},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  pages={1091 - 1120}
  • J. Heckman
  • Published 1 October 1995
  • Economics
  • Journal of Political Economy
This paper examines the argument presented in The Bell Curve. A central argument is that one factor--g--accounts for correlation across test scores and performance in society. Another central argument is that g cannot be manipulated. These arguments are combined to claim that social policies designed to improve social performance cannot be effective. A reanalysis of the evidence contradicts this story. The factors that explain wages receive different weights than the factors that explain test… 

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