Does genetic diversity in high school classes impact students’ economic fortunes?


Does diversity have a positive effect on economic outcomes? According to a new study co-authored by UC Merced economics Professor Justin Cook, the answer is yes, even when the diversity is imperceptible to the casual observer.

Societies with more genetic diversity are more innovative. “Genetic diversity creates different types of people. Different types of people interacting are going to create novel solutions to problems,” Cook said. This helps explains why diverse societies throughout history have tended to be more prosperous than homogeneous societies.


“Diverse groups generally come up with more creative solutions, but they also cluster and experience infighting,” Cook said.“There’s this kind of goldilocks effect where having too little genetic diversity reduces the society’s ability to innovate, but having too much genetic diversity creates differentiated groups, which tends to cause ethnic infighting.”

People who attended more genetically diverse high schools ended up with more years of schooling, greater occupational diversity, more prestigious jobs and higher incomes than those who attended high schools with less genetic diversity.

The study also shows that those who attended diverse high schools scored higher on measurements of extraversion and openness to experience, two key personality traits associated with divergent and creative thinking.


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Genetic Diversity in High Schools a Predictor of Economic Success

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