Age and Scientific Genius
AbstractGreat scientific output typically peaks in middle age. A classic literature has emphasized comparisons across fields in the age of peak performance. More recent work highlights large underlying variation in age and creativity patterns, where the average age of great scientific contributions has risen substantially since the early 20th Century and some scientists make pioneering contributions much earlier or later in their life-cycle than others. We review these literatures and show how the nexus between age and great scientific insight can inform the nature of creativity, the mechanisms of scientific progress, and the design of institutions that support scientists, while providing further insights about the implications of aging populations, education policies, and economic growth.
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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2014-02-08 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2014-02-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2014-02-08 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-SOG-2014-02-08 (Sociology of Economics)
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