Garett Jones is a Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He joins the podcast to talk about his new book, The Culture Transplant. Richard asks whether IQ is superior to other measures used to predict prosperity, and the relationship between Garett’s new book and Hive Mind. He also presses the author on whether there is a selection effect in data showing that people preserve the traits of their original culture over time.
The conversation then gets into issues of causal inference, namely whether we should focus more on American history or cross-national trends to inform our understanding of US policy. Richard suggests that while immigration might in some contexts lead to larger government, in the US it is arguably the case that diversity has been a hindrance to the expansion of the welfare state.
And how important is trust, actually? It correlates with a lot of good things, but how much is that relationship simply driven by observations from Scandinavia? Garett makes the case for trust having an important causal role. This leads to a discussion of whether trust is simply a proxy for trustworthiness, and whether the latter trait is more important.
Garett also explains why Chinese migration could be a key force in lifting the third world out of poverty. Near the end, he discusses what he thinks America would look like after his preferred immigration policy, and what he’s working on next.
Listen to the podcast here or watch on YouTube.
Garett Jones on the Institutionalized podcast
Previous Jones appearance on the CSPI podcast
Alex Nowrasteh, critiques of The Culture Transplant, Part 1 and Part 2
Bryan Caplan review