Education and Innovation
This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.
Chapter in forthcoming NBER book The Role of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Economic Growth, Aaron Chatterji, Josh Lerner, Scott Stern, and Michael J. Andrews, editors
Recent work has unveiled a large role for education (and various types of education policies, from expanding access to improving inputs) on long-run student outcomes. Less is known, however, about the role of education in encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.In this chapter, we review the existing literature and combine estimates on the effects of improving access and the quality of education, as well as the role of different inputs and skills for accessing innovation and entrepreneurship, to provide a first answer to this question. We also outline possible avenues for future research. We structure the chapter as follows. First, we provide a brief review of the theoretical work linking education to innovation. We then explore the possible effects of three sets of policies: 1) expanding access to education, 2) improving the quality of education to those with access and 3) improving the match between potential innovators and the education they need to thrive We conclude that innovators and entrepreneurs are not born, but made, and that education, along with many others, is an important channel in encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.