Invisible Geniuses: Could the Knowledge Frontier Advance Faster?

Author/Editor:

Ruchir Agarwal ; Patrick Gaule

Publication Date:

December 7, 2018

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

The advancement of the knowledge frontier is crucial for technological innovation and human progress. Using novel data from the setting of mathematics, this paper establishes two results. First, we document that individuals who demonstrate exceptional talent in their teenage years have an irreplaceable ability to create new ideas over their lifetime, suggesting that talent is a central ingredient in the production of knowledge. Second, such talented individuals born in low- or middle-income countries are systematically less likely to become knowledge producers. Our findings suggest that policies to encourage exceptionally-talented youth to pursue scientific careers—especially those from lower income countries—could accelerate the advancement of the knowledge frontier.

Series:

Working Paper No. 18/268

English

Publication Date:

December 7, 2018

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484385869/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2018268

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

66

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