Local brain drain

West Hunter

Abdel Abdellaoui and colleagues recent put out a paper on genetics and social stratification in Great Britain. Among other things, they found that polygenic scores of educational attainment were lower in seriously economically depressed areas,  such as coal mining towns – and that this depression has increased with time.  The smarter people are going where the better paying jobs are.

This happens all the time, on small scales and large scales.  The effect is stronger at the edges of the distribution – the per-capita number number of National Merit finalists can vary a lot due to such factors.  Some places suffer a brain drain, others a concentration.  Note that this effect happens even among a single ethnic group. So you see a surprisingly large number of National Merit scholars at Los Alamos High School or Oak Ridge High School – or Cocoa Beach, back during the Apollo project. The effect…

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