Education, Location, IQ and Inequality?


The purpose of this post is to discuss and explore:

1. If there are more educated people in a nation, there are higher chances for its economy to grow and even if every single nation has the same amount of money to restart the economy; highly educated countries are most like to succeed in multiplying and increasing their economic growth.

2. If Bill Gates and Michael Jordan have certain market abilities to identify the gaps of a market and seizing the chance to fill these gaps, has education got to do with their market abilities?

3. Which is more of a factor of inequality? Education or Location?

I was rather surprised when I saw the bar chart on global inequality on slide 10 of “Inequalities and Education” of our lecture notes.

It talked about how inequality shifted from being of different classes to being of different locations. I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book called “Outliers” in the chapter on “The trouble with geniuses”.

The author of Outlier compared two geniuses. Genius A has an IQ of 200 (Einstein has 160) while Genius B has similar IQ with Genius A but they both had different lives and contributions to the world at large.

Genius A was born in a rather poor family with an abusive and drunkard father while Genius B was from a well-to-do family. Make no mistake about it, both have similar IQ higher than Einstein. Both made mistakes in life that resulted in no one appreciating their intelligence. Genius A was rejected in his scholarship renewal because his mum simply did not know how to fill in the scholarship form while Genius B tried to poison his own mentor and was put away into probation.

However, in the end, Genius A was just an ordinary married man who raises his own animal farm while Genius B was the key person in leading America’s atomic bomb efforts.

It has to do with practical intelligence(which it may have been identified with market ability and skills). Other than the analytical intelligence largely due to our genes(IQ), there is another type of intelligence called Practical Intelligence. Practical intelligence is the ability that individuals use to find the best fit between themselves and the demands of the environment.

Genius A has an IQ of 200 but relatively lower practical intelligence and therefore he could not get his way in the scholarship renewal and special requests to remain studying in the University. (I missed out some details on how he dropped out of university, partly the schools were indifferent to his plight which was supposed to be a rare case).

We recall that Genius B was put away in probation. However, a MIT engineering graduate who was an Army General then, was looking for a leading scientist to spearhead the nuclear project; he was totally convinced by Genius B about his way of heading the project which displayed the kind of Practical intelligence Genius B possessed. Genius B has both types of intelligence. IQ was in his genes. Practical Intelligence was gained due to his environment. His parents were from the wealthier class and thus generally taught their children to speak up, to know their rights and be never afraid to interrupt asking by questions.

So inequality based on location(where we live, which family and environment we are in) has so much truth in it. Even with the exception of this lady named Tererai Trent who grew up in an environment which was NOT conducive for education, she met a kind charitable organization who discovered her and sponsored her studies. -> Again it is where she is(location) that served as a spring board for her success.

No one succeeds on their own and therefore no inequality occurs of its own.

This is true about the link between education and the well-being of the countries. Most top or ranked universities are from countries who were doing well in their economic growth. Except for the case where my Indian friend told me there is this famous Indian university which never gets into the world ranking because it does no research work.


So coming back to the three questions. Economic chances increase with education? I agree. Remembering one of the GDP contributor is Technological Progress. With higher quality of people comes higher quality of Technological Progress.

However, does Education teaches us Practical Intelligence? Maybe not explicitly, maybe like what Malcolm Gladwell suggested, it has to do with your environment. But the truth is, schools provide stimulating environment to gain practical intelligence?

Now, which is a greater factor for Inequality? Education or Location? Well, your Location does determine what kind of Education you are receiving unless you have the money or IQ to be sponsored with to study abroad for a better Education quality.

With that I come to a micro-analytical conclusion about success and global inequalities.

Success is not just individualistic, it is very much opportunistic.

Thanks for reading, any comments and criticisms are welcomed.

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One thought on “Education, Location, IQ and Inequality?

  1. well written, very true, talents has to be unearthed. I have music and art talents but my parent has no money and dun allow me to send me to music lesson or school cca.

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