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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 44, June 2013, Pages 140–149
Hernstein and Murray (1994) famously argued that the division of labor in modern society is determined by individual differences in cognitive ability. This paper shows that differences in cognitive ability can also determine the division of labor in poor urban areas. We estimate the effect of IQ on time-to-first gang participation with data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97) and Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN). Results from both the NLSY97 and PHDCN indicate that low-IQ is a robust predictor of gang participation. There are two plausible explanations of this main finding: (1) low-IQ individuals may have comparative advantage in violence as their opportunity costs of engaging in legal activities are low and (2) gangs may prefer low-IQ individuals as a way to reduce agency costs. We find strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that persons with lower IQs have comparative advantage in criminal activity in the PHDCN dataset.
Street gangs are endemic to impoverished, urban neighborhoods the world over. Poor infrastructure, lack of access to credit, wide-spread illicit trade, pervasive violence, and dense social/ethnic networks in these areas cause residents to have similar life experiences (Kling et al., 2005a, Venkatesh, 2000, Venkatesh, 2006 and Wilson, 1987). However, the relatively small ratio of gangsters to citizens, even in the poorest neighborhoods, suggests gang participation is determined by characteristics not shared by neighborhood residents.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Gangs are a common element of communities trapped in poverty (Wilson, 1987). However, because the majority of trade and industry is underground, official statistics overlook that the economies of these neighborhoods are often at full employment (Venkatesh, 2006). From the viewpoint of an economist (and likely the citizenry in these areas), gangs function as de facto governments—providing security, regulating trade, and taxing the population—when civil authority is weak (Sobel and Osoba, 2009). If the neighborhood economy is at full (underground) employment and gang members register below average cognitive ability, this implies that the division of labor within neighborhoods is determined by the ability to perform mental work.