A team of researchers at Linköping University explained why extreme earners are not necessarily extremely smart. The study is published in the journal European Sociological Review.
The researchers surveyed data from a Swedish register containing measures of cognitive ability and labor-market success for 59,000 men who undertook a compulsory military conscription test at age 18-19.
The results revealed that we cannot infer high intelligence or merit from high income. In fact, the relationship between cognitive ability and wage is not at all strong for high-income groups.
People with exorbitant incomes do not appear deserving of their compensation, compared to those who earn only half of those wages.
These findings directly refute the common defense of top earners that their unique talents (like merit and cognitive abilities) motivate the huge amounts of money they earn. The authors further remarked: “This [study] permits us to test, for the first time, whether extremely high wages are indicative of extreme intelligence.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Keuschnigg, M., van de Rijt, A., & Bol, T. (2023). The plateauing of cognitive ability among top earners. European Sociological Review. https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcac076