Garett Jones

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Garett Jones

Garett Jones is an American economist and author. His research pertains to the fields of macroeconomics, monetary policy, IQ in relation to productivity,[1] short term business cycles and economic development. He is an associate professor at George Mason University and the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at the Mercatus Center.[2][3]

Academic career[edit]

Jones completed a B.A. in history with a minor in sociology from Brigham Young University in 1992. He did a M.P.A. in public affairs from Cornell University in 1993, followed by a M.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994. Jones completed a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, San Diego in 2000. After holding a number of visiting scholar and other academic positions, Jones joined the faculty of George Mason University in 2007.[4]

Research on IQ and its role in productivity and economic growth[edit]

Jones started his research on IQ in a paper with Schneider in 2006 that argued that IQ is a statistically significant explanatory variable of economic growth,[5] thus agreeing broadly with the thesis advanced by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in their book IQ and the Wealth of Nations. The chief observation that Jones made, and popularized, is that national IQs have much greater predictive power for individual earnings than the individual's IQ.

Jones' further research has been on identifying the causal mechanisms by which IQ might affect productivity and economic growth at a national level.[2] One mechanism posited by Jones is that smarter groups tend to be better at arriving at and enforcing norms of cooperation. Jones has used laboratory experiments involving repeated prisoner's dilemma, combined with the SAT scores of participants, to offer support for this hypothesis.[6] Jones has also suggested that patience and delayed gratification might offer an explanation.[7]

Jones has also argued that certain sectors requiring very high quality work and with very low error-tolerance can only exist and thrive given access to a high-IQ population, because in such sectors, it is not possible to replace a single high-IQ worker by multiple low-IQ workers and achieve the same output. Jones informally dubs such sectors "O-Ring sectors" in contrast to "foolproof sectors" where a larger workforce of people with lower productivity can produce the same output as a smaller workforce of people with high productivity.[8]

Jones offer a summary of his and others' research on the relationship between IQ and national productivity in an article for The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics.[9]

Research on money[edit]

Some of Jones' research has focused on the role of money, monetary policy, and mechanisms to reduce the risk of financial crisis.[2][10][11][12]


Hive Mind[edit]

Jones wrote the book Hive Mind: How Your Nation's IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own, which builds on his research on the relationship between IQ and national productivity.[13] It was released in November 2015 by Stanford University Press.


He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics.[14] He was the editor of the book Banking Crises (2016), produced for The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics.[15]

Media appearances[edit]

Jones was a guest blogger for EconLog from September 2012 to April 2013.[2] He has given his opinion on macroeconomic policy and financial crises on CNBC and in various media clippings.[16][17]


Writing for CounterPunch, Ben Norton criticized Jones' presentation 10% Less Democracy: How Less Voting Could Mean Better Governance.[18][19]


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  2. ^ a b c d "Garett Jones". Retrieved 2013-01-30.
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  4. ^ Jones, Garett. "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  5. ^ Jones, Garett; Schneider, W. Joel (2006). "Intelligence, Human Capital, and Economic Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach" (pdf). Journal of Economic Growth. 11 (1): 71–93. doi:10.1007/s10887-006-7407-2. ISSN 1381-4338. JSTOR 40216088.
  6. ^ Jones, Garett (2008). "Are smarter groups more cooperative? Evidence from prisoner's dilemma experiments, 1959–2003". Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 68 (3–4): 489–497. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2008.06.010. ISSN 0167-2681.
  7. ^ Al-Ubaydli, Omar; Jones, Garett; Weel, Jaap (2013). "Patience, cognitive skill, and coordination in the repeated stag hunt" (PDF). Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics. 6 (2): 71–96. doi:10.1037/npe0000005. ISSN 2151-318X. SSRN 1764272.
  8. ^ Jones, Garett (2013). "The O-ring sector and the Foolproof sector: An explanation for skill externalities" (PDF). Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 85: 1–10. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2012.10.014. ISSN 0167-2681.
  9. ^ Jones, Garett (2008). "IQ and national productivity" (PDF). doi:10.1057/9780230226203.3866. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ Jones, Garett. "On Money and Output: Is money redundant?".
  11. ^ Jones, Garett. "Dynamic IS Curves With and Without Money: An international comparison".
  12. ^ Jones, Garett. "Speed Bankruptcy: A Firewall to Future Crises" (PDF).
  13. ^ Jones, Garett (2015). Hive Mind: How Your Nation's IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-8596-9. Lay summary.
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  16. ^ "Garett Jones discusses the Financial Crisis in Europe on CNBC Asia". Mercatus Center. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  17. ^ "Media Clippings by Garett Jones". Mercatus Center. Archived from the original on 2013-03-29. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
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External links[edit]