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Who becomes an inventor in America? : The importance of exposure to innovation

Author: Alexander M BellRaj ChettyXavier JaravelNeviana PetkovaJohn Van ReenenAll authors
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 24062.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
We characterize the factors that determine who becomes an inventor in America by using de-identified data on 1.2 million inventors from patent records linked to tax records. We establish three sets of results. First, children from high-income (top 1%) families are ten times as likely to become inventors as those from below-median income families. There are similarly large gaps by race and gender. Differences in  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Alexander M Bell; Raj Chetty; Xavier Jaravel; Neviana Petkova; John Van Reenen; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 1014026805
Notes: "November 2017"
Description: 1 online resource (51 pages, 28 unnumbered pages) : illustrations, maps.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 24062.
Responsibility: Alexander M. Bell, Raj Chetty, Xavier Jaravel, Neviana Petkova, John Van Reenen.

Abstract:

We characterize the factors that determine who becomes an inventor in America by using de-identified data on 1.2 million inventors from patent records linked to tax records. We establish three sets of results. First, children from high-income (top 1%) families are ten times as likely to become inventors as those from below-median income families. There are similarly large gaps by race and gender. Differences in innate ability, as measured by test scores in early childhood, explain relatively little of these gaps. Second, exposure to innovation during childhood has significant causal effects on children's propensities to become inventors. Growing up in a neighborhood or family with a high innovation rate in a specific technology class leads to a higher probability of patenting in exactly the same technology class. These exposure effects are gender-specific: girls are more likely to become inventors in a particular technology class if they grow up in an area with more female inventors in that technology class. Third, the financial returns to inventions are extremely skewed and highly correlated with their scientific impact, as measured by citations. Consistent with the importance of exposure effects and contrary to standard models of career selection, women and disadvantaged youth are as under-represented among high-impact inventors as they are among inventors as a whole. We develop a simple model of inventors' careers that matches these empirical results. The model implies that increasing exposure to innovation in childhood may have larger impacts on innovation than increasing the financial incentives to innovate, for instance by cutting tax rates. In particular, there are many "lost Einsteins" -- individuals who would have had highly impactful inventions had they been exposed to innovation.

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Primary Entity<\/h3>\n
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Bell<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:author<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Person\/van_reenen_john<\/a>> ; # John Van Reenen<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:author<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Person\/jaravel_xavier<\/a>> ; # Xavier Jaravel<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:bookFormat<\/a> schema:EBook<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:datePublished<\/a> \"2017<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:description<\/a> \"We characterize the factors that determine who becomes an inventor in America by using de-identified data on 1.2 million inventors from patent records linked to tax records. We establish three sets of results. First, children from high-income (top 1%) families are ten times as likely to become inventors as those from below-median income families. There are similarly large gaps by race and gender. Differences in innate ability, as measured by test scores in early childhood, explain relatively little of these gaps. Second, exposure to innovation during childhood has significant causal effects on children\'s propensities to become inventors. Growing up in a neighborhood or family with a high innovation rate in a specific technology class leads to a higher probability of patenting in exactly the same technology class. These exposure effects are gender-specific: girls are more likely to become inventors in a particular technology class if they grow up in an area with more female inventors in that technology class. Third, the financial returns to inventions are extremely skewed and highly correlated with their scientific impact, as measured by citations. Consistent with the importance of exposure effects and contrary to standard models of career selection, women and disadvantaged youth are as under-represented among high-impact inventors as they are among inventors as a whole. We develop a simple model of inventors\' careers that matches these empirical results. The model implies that increasing exposure to innovation in childhood may have larger impacts on innovation than increasing the financial incentives to innovate, for instance by cutting tax rates. In particular, there are many \"lost Einsteins\" -- individuals who would have had highly impactful inventions had they been exposed to innovation.<\/span>\"@en<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:exampleOfWork<\/a> <http:\/\/worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/id\/4660174688<\/a>> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:inLanguage<\/a> \"en<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:isPartOf<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Series\/working_paper_series_national_bureau_of_economic_research<\/a>> ; # Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research) ;<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:isPartOf<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Series\/nber_working_paper_series<\/a>> ; # NBER working paper series ;<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Who becomes an inventor in America? : The importance of exposure to innovation<\/span>\"@en<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:productID<\/a> \"1014026805<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:publisher<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Organization\/national_bureau_of_economic_research<\/a>> ; # National Bureau of Economic Research,<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:url<\/a> <http:\/\/www.nber.org\/papers\/w24062<\/a>> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nwdrs:describedby<\/a> <http:\/\/www.worldcat.org\/title\/-\/oclc\/1014026805<\/a>> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n\n

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<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Organization\/national_bureau_of_economic_research<\/a>> # National Bureau of Economic Research,<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Organization<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"National Bureau of Economic Research,<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Person\/bell_alexander_m<\/a>> # Alexander M. Bell<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Person<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:familyName<\/a> \"Bell<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:givenName<\/a> \"Alexander M.<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Alexander M. Bell<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Person\/chetty_raj<\/a>> # Raj Chetty<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Person<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:familyName<\/a> \"Chetty<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:givenName<\/a> \"Raj<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Raj Chetty<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Person\/jaravel_xavier<\/a>> # Xavier Jaravel<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Person<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:familyName<\/a> \"Jaravel<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:givenName<\/a> \"Xavier<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Xavier Jaravel<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Person\/petkova_neviana<\/a>> # Neviana Petkova<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Person<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:familyName<\/a> \"Petkova<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:givenName<\/a> \"Neviana<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Neviana Petkova<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Person\/van_reenen_john<\/a>> # John Van Reenen<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Person<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:familyName<\/a> \"Van Reenen<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:givenName<\/a> \"John<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"John Van Reenen<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Place\/united_states<\/a>> # United States.<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Place<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"United States.<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Series\/nber_working_paper_series<\/a>> # NBER working paper series ;<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nbgn:PublicationSeries<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:hasPart<\/a> <http:\/\/www.worldcat.org\/oclc\/1014026805<\/a>> ; # Who becomes an inventor in America? : The importance of exposure to innovation<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"NBER working paper series ;<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
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<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Topic\/inventors_united_states<\/a>> # Inventors--United States<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Intangible<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Inventors--United States<\/span>\"@en<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Topic\/technological_innovations_social_aspects<\/a>> # Technological innovations--Social aspects<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Intangible<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Technological innovations--Social aspects<\/span>\"@en<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/4660174688#Topic\/technological_innovations_social_aspects_united_states<\/a>> # Technological innovations--Social aspects--United States<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Intangible<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Technological innovations--Social aspects--United States<\/span>\"@en<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
<http:\/\/id.loc.gov\/vocabulary\/countries\/mau<\/a>>\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Place<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\ndcterms:identifier<\/a> \"mau<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
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Content-negotiable representations<\/p>\n