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Kimball's failed replication of Reinhart-Rogoff finding cited in argument for tempered public response to social science research results

Edin and Shaefer's book on destitute families in America reviewed in NYT

Johnston says rate of daily marijuana use among college students now greater than rate of daily cigarette smoking

Highlights

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

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Comment on Preston and Campbell's "Differential Fertility and the Distribution of Traits"

Publication Abstract

Lam, David. 1993. "Comment on Preston and Campbell's "Differential Fertility and the Distribution of Traits"." American Journal of Sociology, 98: 1033-39.

This article is a comment on "Differential Fertility and the Distribution of Traits" by Samuel H. Preston and Cameron Campbell, the abstract of which is given in the following paragraph. The comment supplies illustrations of how the model proposed by Preston and Campbell works and useful examples of when it may or may not apply. Also included is Preston and Campbell's reply.

A recurrent fear during the past century is that the mean IQ level of populations will decline because persons with lower IQ scores have above-average fertility. Most microlevel data demonstrate such fertility differentials, but population IQ levels have risen rather than fallen. In this article, a simple two-sex model shows that negative fertility differentials are consistent with falling, rising, or constant IQ distributions. Under a wide variety of conditions, a constant pattern of fertility differentials will produce an unchanging, equilibrium distribution of IQ scores in the population. What matters for IQ trends is how the IQ distribution in one generation relates to the equilibrium distribution implied by that generation's fertility differentials. Intuition fails in this important area because it does not account for the macro structure within which micro results must be interpreted.

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