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Intelligence and Export Sophistication: A Cross-Country Test

Shoirahon Odilova


We explore the effect of national IQs on export sophistication using data for 138 nations for the year 2013, taking into account a set of confounding factors. National IQs were correlated at 0.61 with logged EXPY, which measures the sophistication of the entire export basket of a nation, and at 0.59 with KOF, a measure of globalization. The findings show that one standard deviation increase in intelligence leads to a slightly more than a half standard deviation increase in sophistication of the export basket. Moreover, intelligence explains nearly 33% of global variation in export sophistication.

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