The Idea Gap in Pink and Black
NBER Working Paper No. 16331
Previous studies have found large gender and racial differences in commercialization of invention. Using novel data that permit enhanced identification of women and African American inventors, we find that gender and racial differences in commercial activity related to invention are lower than once thought. This is despite relatively lower patent activity among women and African Americans. Further, among determinants of commercialization, the evidence suggests that advanced training in engineering is correlated with better commercialization outcomes for women and African Americans than for U.S. inventors as a whole, for whom advanced training in life sciences is more important.