Here at the Unz Review, Anatoly Karlin has a fun review, “IQ in Time and Space,” of the results of a sister test to the famous international PISA test, the PIAAC. The OECD explains that the 2012 PIAAC:
The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) developed and conducts the Survey of Adult Skills. The survey measures adults’ proficiency in key information-processing skills – literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments – and gathers information and data on how adults use their skills at home, at work and in the wider community.
So, it’s not exactly an IQ test, but it’s also not exactly not an IQ test.
Unlike the PISA, which is given to 15 year olds, the PIAAC is given to 16 to 65 year olds.
The 2012 PIAAC was more restricted to first world countries than the PISA.
The highest score (107 on Anatoly’s Lynn-Vanhanen IQ-type scale where England is 100 and the standard deviation is 15) was in Japan, followed by Finland (105). Worst were Italy and Spain (95). That’s not a particularly huge difference compared to what’s seen on the PISA where much poorer non-OECD countries take the test.
But, keep in mind that there is only one year’s worth of data, so it’s not clear if the test was all that successful either scientifically or in the marketplace. It would be nice to have several rounds of this testing to smooth out one-year anomalies. So take these national scores with an even bigger grain of salt than for the PISA.
Among advanced countries, the biggest Flynn Effect is seen in South Korea, where 16-24 year olds (born 1988-1996) score almost a standard deviation higher (14.7 points) compared to 55-65 year olds (born 1947-1957: basically, Baby Boomers in US terms). About half of the oldest cohort would have been survivors of the Korean War of 1950-53, when things were very, very tough. Young South Koreans are also much taller than elderly South Koreans, so this seems plausible.
The second biggest Flynn Effect is observed in Spain, followed by France, Finland, Poland, and Netherlands, all of whom had difficulties in 1936-1945. Plus, Spain was really kind of backward until Franco decided to industrialize in the 1950s.
The smallest growth in whatever it is that the PIAAC is measuring are in England, Russia, US, and Norway. The US had the easiest 1939-45 of those four and was famously the most prosperous country in world history when the Baby Boomers were born. Anatoly suggests that Russian growth in IQ or whatever was held back by alcoholism, which he dates to the mid-1960s in Russia.
Men modestly outscore women in all countries except Russia. The biggest male privileges in intelligence are found in feminist countries like Germany and Norway, while the smaller male advantages are found in less feminist Romance and Slavic countries. But the differences are pretty small.
The countries where natives have the biggest IQ advantages over immigrants are humanitarian Nordic countries, such as Sweden 15.9 points and Finland (15.0). The native-immigrant gap in the U.S. is 8 points.
The U.S. appears to be pretty good at tracking smarter people into more difficult occupations, while the Russians are the worst at this, perhaps due to people getting their jobs because they know a guy who knows a guy.