Kirkegaard, Emil O. W. (2018). Cognitive meritocracy is the main cause of racial income gaps in the United States: An analysis of 5 large datasets. PsyArXiv Preprints.
Socially defined racial groups usually differ in average incomes, though the causes of this are contested. We used 5 large datasets with relevant variables to distinguish between cognitive meritocracy, cultural models, and discrimination models (NLSY79, NLSY97, Add Health, GSS, ANES2012; total n = ). Furthermore, we carried out a meta-analysis of the results as far as was possible. The use of both self- and other-perceived race/ethnicity group allowed one to distinguish between effects related to how others perceive one’s race/ethnicity vs. how individuals perceive themselves. Results indicated that other-perceived Black and Hispanic racial statuses were associated with either no differences or slightly higher incomes when cognitive ability was controlled for (beta = ), whereas self-perceived Black status was negatively related to income (beta = ). Other self-perceived racial statuses had no clearly detectable effect. Results were interpreted as being congruent with meritocracy and inconsistent with market-irrelevant discrimination models.
race, ethnicity, skin tone, income, gap, IQ, intelligence, cognitive ability, g factor, discrimination, United States, NLSY79, NLSY97, Add Health, GSS, ANES
Kirkegaard, Emil O. W.
May 16, 2018