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Inequality and Innovativeness

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  • Scott E Page

    ()
    (University of Michigan)

  • John Vandermeer

    ()
    (University of Michigan)

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    Abstract

    In this note, we construct two theoretical models that analyze the relationship between inequality of access and rates of innovation as well as correlative data that show a negative correlation between income inequality and levels of innovativeness. Our two models suggest that unequal access to problems slows innovation by reducing the level and variety of human capital applied to problems. More interestingly, both models show that the rate of innovation decline becomes much more pronounced as problems become more difficult. Thus, the costs of inequality may be increasing as the problems that societies face become more challenging.

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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2013/Volume33/EB-13-V33-I1-P59.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: A59

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    Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00126

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    Related research

    Keywords: Diversity; Inequality; Innovation; Problem Solving;

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    1. Steven Callander, 2011. "Searching and Learning by Trial and Error," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2277-2308, October.
    2. Gauthier-Loiselle, Marjolaine & Hunt, Jennifer, 2009. "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7116, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993. "Education, democracy and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
    4. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
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