Signalons une étude sur la composition sociale des inventeurs :
The Social Origins of Inventors, par Philippe Aghion, Ufuk Akcigit, Ari Hyytinen, Otto Toivanen, November 29, 2017
Aghion teste avec des test statistiques complexes les correlations entre les brevets et différentes caractéristiques des inventeurs comme le niveau de revenu familial, le QI et le niveau éducatif. Evidemment, on ne peut pas cautionner des phrases comme celle qui parle de la corrélation entre revenu des parents et QI (les économistes découvrent que le QI est une mesure sociale qui ne mesure pas l’intelligence mais le degré de conformité des individus aux injonctions sociales).
L’étude porte sur la Finlande. Elle tend à montrer que la corrélation constatée (aussi aux USA) entre le niveau de revenu des parents et le fait de devenir inventeur (détenteur d’un brevet), de même que le fait d’avoir fait des études de ST.
Je note une conclusion intéressante et très générique :
our results suggest that by massively investing in education up to (STEM) PhD level, a country should significantly increase its aggregate innovation potential while making innovation more inclusive.
Et de plus leur étude montre que la reproduction, ça existe et ça marche ! Et qu’il vaut mieux être riche que pauvre. Eh eh ! Que c’est mieux aussi que les parents ne divorcent pas.
our results suggest that while IQ is of major importance in determining the level of education, family background in general and parental education in particular, play also an important role even in an equitable welfare state like Finland, where education is free up to and including university
CI-dessous un extrait de la conclusion :
Our main findings can be summarized as follows. First, while parental income matters even after controlling for other background variables and for IQ, the estimated impact of parental income is greatly diminished once parental education and the individual’s IQ are controlled for, and even more so when controlling for the individual’s own education. Second, an R-squared decomposition shows that IQ matters more than all family background variables combined ; moreover, IQ has both, a direct and an indirect impact through education on the probability of inventing, and finally the impact of IQ is larger and more convex for inventors than for medical doctors or lawyers.
Third, to address the potential endogeneity of IQ, we focused on potential inventors with brothers close in age. This allowed us to control for family-specific time-invariant unobservables. We showed that the effect of visuospatial IQ on the probability of inventing is maintained when adding these controls.
Fourth, to provide evidence on the importance of social family interactions, we compared individuals brought up by their biological parents with individuals with a missing biological parent and/or individuals with a step parent. We found that parental divorce decreases the probability of becoming an inventor and that the income of biological parents matters only when the child lives with them.
Fifth, we discovered a positive and significant interaction between the individual’s IQ and his father’s income, which in turn points to a potential source of misallocation between individuals with heterogeneous IQ levels and parental resources.
Our analysis has interesting policy implications. In particular, it suggests that parental education and its impact on the child’s education is a major source of potential misallocation, with parental income and socioeconomic status also affecting misallocation, but to a lesser extent. Such intergenerational spillovers in education affect an economy’s ability to innovate. Indeed, we showed that achieving a higher education STEM degree increases an individual’s probability of becoming an inventor significantly, while making it much less dependent upon parental income. We found that the impact of father’s income on innovation is higher for high ability individuals, and that this extra impact also works mainly through education. This is evidence for misallocation being more severe for high ability individuals.
Taken together, our results suggest that by massively investing in education up to (STEM) PhD level, a country should significantly increase its aggregate innovation potential while making innovation more inclusive. Next, our results suggest that while IQ is of major importance in determining the level of education, family background in general and parental education in particular, play also an important role even in an equitable welfare state like Finland, where education is free up to and including university education.
Ce texte fait suite à :
Aghion, P., U. Akcigit, A. Hyytinen, and O. Toivanen : 2017, ‘On the Returns to Invention within Firms : Evidence from Finland’. Working Paper.
Bref, les économistes mainstream comme Aghion seraient plutôt en faveur d’une politique peu sélective de soutien aux universités et la recherche.