News & Opinion | April 30, 2019 1:53 pm

Rich, Male American Students “Bullsh*t” More Than Their Peers Around the World

We all knew that kid

Rich, Male American Students “Bullsh*t” More Than Their Peers Around the World

A recent study conducted by Germany’s IZA Institute of Labor Economics assessed the literal “bullshit meters” of students around the world, and the most egregious cohort was comprised of rich American males.

Surveying 40,000 15-year-olds around the globe, the IZA defined “bullshitters” as “individuals who claim knowledge or expertise in an area where they actually have little experience at all,” and tested each student with a math test in which three of 16 concepts were completely made up. Those that claimed knowledge on the fabricated concepts were more likely to be A) male, B) economically advantaged, C) American or Canadian and D) swimming in self-confidence; they routinely answered that they were more popular and better at problem-solving than their peers.

According to one of the study’s authors — a University College London economics professor named Nikki Shure — the exercise can be used to explain how undeserving men end up in positions of power and contribute to socioeconomic inequalities. For instance, young men without much substance might be able to charm their way through interviews and load up contacts through networking and nepotism, all the while leaving those with harder work ethics or better ideas in the dust.