Schooling in Adolescence Raises IQ Scores

By: Christian N. Brinch and Taryn A.Galloway

Published in:

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (2), pages 425-430.


Although some scholars maintain that education has little effect on intelligence quotient (IQ) scores, others claim that IQ scores are indeed malleable, primarily through intervention in early childhood. The causal effect of education on IQ at later ages is often difficult to uncover because analyses based on observational data are plagued by problems of reverse causation and self-selection into further education. We exploit a reform that increased compulsory schooling from 7 to 9 years in Norway in the 1960s to estimate the effect of education on IQ. We find that this schooling reform, which primarily affected education in the middle teenage years, had a substantial effect on IQ scores measured at the age of 19 years.

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Published July 2, 2014 9:50 AM