Jason Richwine

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Jason Richwine
Born (1982-04-21) April 21, 1982 (age 37)
Alma materBA American University (political science) 2004

BS American University (mathematics) 2004

PhD Harvard University (public policy) 2009
Occupationpolitical commentator, author

Jason Matthew Richwine (born April 21, 1982) is an American political commentator and author. He is best known for his doctoral dissertation entitled "IQ and Immigration Policy," and a Heritage Foundation report he co-authored on the economic costs of illegal immigration to the United States which concluded that passing the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 would cost taxpayers more than $6 trillion.[1][2][3]


Richwine received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and political science from American University, graduating in 2004.[4] He then studied at Harvard University, where he received his PhD in 2009 in public policy, with a dissertation entitled "IQ and Immigration Policy".[5] His dissertation stated that illegal Hispanic immigrants to America had lower IQs than non-Hispanic whites, and noted that this disparity persisted for several generations.[6] The dissertation committee was composed of economist Richard Zeckhauser, economist George Borjas, and Christopher Jencks, the social scientist and editor of The American Prospect.[7] Richwine subsequently wrote an article for Politico defending his dissertation and arguing that the statements it contained about ethnic differences in IQ were "scientifically unremarkable".[8]


Prior to working at Heritage, Richwine worked briefly at the American Enterprise Institute;[5] while there, he wrote a book review for The American Conservative criticizing Richard E. Nisbett's book Intelligence and How to Get It.[9] In 2010, he wrote two pieces about immigration and crime for the online magazine AlternativeRight.com in response to a Ron Unz essay covering the same topic in The American Conservative.[6][10][11] After a study co-authored by Richwine regarding the costs of illegal immigration was released by the Heritage Foundation, former Washington Post reporter Dylan Matthews found the dissertation and wrote a blog post about it on May 8, 2013.[5] Richwine argued that Hispanics and blacks are intellectually inferior to whites and have trouble assimilating because of a supposed genetic predisposition to lower IQ.[1][2] Richwine resigned from the Foundation on May 10, 2013.[12]

As of 2017, Richwine had contributed on occasion to National Review.[13][14] He continued his controversial research, and published an article in the American Affairs journal entitled "Low-Skill Immigration: A Case for Restriction".[15]

Richwine joined the Heritage Foundation in 2009 after he received his PhD in public policy from Harvard. Titled "IQ and Immigration Policy",[16] he writes on this work:

"No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.

"the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ, but the extent of its impact is hard to determine.

"The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market."[17]

A later work for the Heritage Foundation released in 2013, of which Richwine is co-author with Robert Rector, claims that the immigration reform bill then being weighed in the U.S. Senate would cost the government $5.3 trillion. As a criticism, on May 6, 2013, Dylan Matthews wrote for The Washington Post: "The study represents the most notable attack on the reform effort to date from a conservative group ... So does the Heritage estimate hold up? Not really. They make a lot of curious methodological choices that cumulatively throw the study into question. It's likely that immigrants would pay a lot more in taxes, and need a lot less in benefits, than Heritage assumes, and that other benefits would outweigh what costs remain."[18]


  1. ^ a b "Amnesty study author Jason Richwine resigns from Heritage Foundation". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Co-Author of Controversial Heritage Foundation Report Resigns". ABC News. 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  3. ^ Blake, Aaron (6 May 2013). "Heritage: Immigration bill would cost $6.3 trillion". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  4. ^ York, Byron (13 May 2013). "A talk with Jason Richwine: 'I do not apologize for any of my work'". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Matthews, Dylan (8 May 2013). "Heritage study co-author opposed letting in immigrants with low IQs". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Weigel, David (10 May 2013). "The IQ Test". Slate. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  7. ^ Richwine, Jason (1 May 2009). "IQ and Immigration Policy" (PDF). The Department of Public Policy, Harvard University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  8. ^ Richwine, Jason (9 August 2013). "Why can't we talk about IQ?". Politico. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  9. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance (9 May 2013). "Jason Richwine's Racial Theories Are Nothing New". The Atlantic. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  10. ^ Unz, Ron (1 March 2010). "His-Panic". The American Conservative. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  11. ^ Unz, Ron (15 March 2010). "Hispanic Crime: A Guide to the Debate". The American Conservative. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  12. ^ Blake, Aaron (10 May 2013). "Jason Richwine resigns from Heritage Foundation". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Jason Richwine". National Review. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  14. ^ "Jason Richwine Cirrculum Vitae". JasonRichwine.com. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  15. ^ Richwine, Jason (Winter 2017). "Low-Skill Immigration:A Case for Restriction". American Affairs. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  16. ^ Jason Richwine (May 2009). "IQ and Immigration Policy".
  17. ^ Matthews, Dylan (May 8, 2013). "Heritage study co-author opposed letting in immigrants with low IQs". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  18. ^ Matthews, Dylan (May 6, 2018). "Heritage says immigration reform will cost $5.3 trillion. Here's why that's wrong". The Washington Post.