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Is the Ongoing Migration from California to Texas a Migration of Cognitive Capital?

Edward Dutton and David Quinn

Published: 2023/09/01


Over the last decade there has been considerable migration out of the strongly Democrat state of California and it is popularly reported that a significant component of this migration is to its rival, the strongly Republican state of Texas. These two states pursue very different economic and social policies. In this study, we explore whether this migration is related to intelligence: Is California losing cognitive capital to Texas? Based on proxy data, we cautiously conclude that this is, indeed, what is occurring. Intelligence is migrating from California to Texas. To a lesser extent, low IQ is migrating from Texas to California, consistent with very different state policies creating push and pull factors and also the ease with which the more intelligent can migrate. We demonstrate that our broader finding is congruous with other proxy data. Keywords: Intelligence, Brain drain, Cognitive capital, California, Texas

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