chapter  11
5 Pages

Prospects for an Intelligent World

In Reich’s (1992) contemporary taxonomy of the labor force, the symbolic-analytic sector is closely identified with the intelligence repertoire. Those who work in this sector make their living by using their minds expertly to solve symbol-rich problems. The demand for symbolic-analytic ability is growing, as is the economic value attached to symbolic-analytic skills. This is demonstrated in the growing wage premium associated with advanced levels of education. In economic terms, higher education is a potent investment in human capital or “population quality” (Schultz, 1981). Companies are willing to pay for the services of intelligent minds because their economic competitiveness depends on their ability to recruit those who are

best prepared to engage in symbolic-analytic work. Employees who hold the same title can differ markedly in productive output (a factor of 2:1 is not unusual), and these differences in productivity are moderately predicted by IQ (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Because strong economic implications follow, companies have a large stake in the recruitment and development of intellectual talent.