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The social origins of inventors

Aghion, Philippe, Akcigit, Ufuk, Hyytinen, Ari and Toivanen, Otto (2017) The social origins of inventors. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1522). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

In this paper, we merge three datasets - individual income data, patenting data, and IQ data - to analyze the deterninants of an individual’s probability of inventing. We find that: (i) parental income matters even after controlling for other background variables and for IQ, yet the estimated impact of parental income is greatly diminished once parental education and the individual’s IQ are controlled for; (ii) IQ has both a direct effect on the probability of inventing an indirect impact through education. The effect of IQ is larger for inventors than for medical doctors or lawyers. The impact of IQ is robust to controlling for unobserved family characteristics by focusing on potential inventors with brothers close in age. We also provide evidence on the importance of social family interactions, by looking at biological versus non-biological parents. Finally, we find a positive and significant interaction effect between IQ and father income, which suggests a misallocation of talents to innovation

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J18 - Public Policy
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 04:04
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86619

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