New Study: The Wealthiest People Are Not Necessarily The Most Intelligent
The wealthiest individuals are not necessarily the most intelligent. This is the conclusion of an extensive sociological analysis recently published.
The massive wealth of many corporate executives is less a result of intelligence and more influenced by luck, background, and personality.
Someone can buy happiness but cannot buy intelligence. A study published in January found that billionaires are not smarter than the rest of us.
Sociologists from Linköping University in Sweden analyzed data from 59,000 Swedish men and tracked their lives for over a decade to explore the correlation between intelligence and the ability to earn large sums of money, as reported by The Guardian.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Rich People Are Not Necessarily Brilliant
The surprising result of the study, published in the European Sociological Review, was that there is no significant connection between intelligence and financial success beyond an annual income of $64,000. In fact, it turned out that individuals in the top 1% do not possess any exceptional intelligence to boast about.
After that point, factors such as luck, background, and personality became more important.
Across an important dimension of merit - cognitive ability - we do not find any evidence that top job holders who receive extraordinary salaries are more meritorious than those who earn only half as much, observed the researchers.
It's not surprising. Being obscenely wealthy does not automatically mean being incredibly intelligent, notes Arwa Mahdawi in The Guardian.
However, considering the growing wage gap between executives and workers, studies like this should draw attention. The pay disparity between CEOs and workers in the US rose to 670-to-1 last year, up from 604-to-1 in 2020. To put that in more tangible terms, CEOs of American companies where staff is poorly paid earned an average of $10.6 million, while the average worker received only $23,968.
The wage gap is not as pronounced in the UK but remains substantial. An analysis last year found that CEOs of the top 350 companies earned 63 times the average worker's salary in their companies, with 43 CEOs receiving over 100 times the average employee's pay in 2020.
This enormous wage disparity cannot be justified. As studies like this clearly show, it is not meritocracy that drives the wage gap; it is age-old greed, concludes Arwa Mahdawi in The Guardian.