Invisible Geniuses: Could the Knowledge Frontier Advance Faster?
- (pp. 409-24)
AbstractA better understanding of the determinants of idea/knowledge production remains critical for long-run growth. Toward this end, this paper establishes two results using data from the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). First, individuals who excelled in teenage years are especially capable of advancing the knowledge frontier. Second, such talented individuals born in poorer countries are systematically less likely to engage in knowledge production. IMO participants from low-income countries produce 34 percent fewer publications and 56 percent fewer citations than equally talented rich-country counterparts. Policies to encourage talented youth to pursue scientific careers—especially those from poorer countries—could advance the knowledge frontier faster.
CitationAgarwal, Ruchir, and Patrick Gaule. 2020. "Invisible Geniuses: Could the Knowledge Frontier Advance Faster?" American Economic Review: Insights, 2 (4): 409-24. DOI: 10.1257/aeri.20190457
- D83 Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
- O30 Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights: General
- O47 Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence