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Race vis-à-vis Latitude: Their Influence on Intelligence, Infectious Diseases, and Income

Federico R. León

Abstract

Fuerst and Kirkegaard (this issue) showed in various American countries that European ancestry positively determines cognitive ability and socioeconomic outcomes regardless of the effects of infectious diseases and other variables. In this paper I show that this is not the case in the United States of America when saturated path analysis models which minimize multicollinearity are applied to state data. It is latitude which positively determines cognitive ability and this in turn positively determines income per capita regardless of race and infectious disease rate. U.S. Census self-classification as White has non-significant effects on cognitive ability and has negative effects on income per capita among U.S. states once relevant variables are controlled. Similar results are obtained when the Eugenomic variable of Fuerst and Kirkegaard is targeted in the path analyses. Thus, the evidence does not uphold their conclusion that European ancestry explains differences in cognitive ability among U.S. states.

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