Necessity may be the mother of invention, but new research examines what spawns the inventor.

To spur innovation, it helps to have the right environment. And according to a comprehensive analysis by SIEPR Senior Fellow Raj Chetty and his colleagues, key factors that determine who becomes an inventor are coming up short for women, minorities and children from low-income families.

“There are many ‘lost Einsteins’ — individuals who would have had highly impactful inventions had they been exposed to innovation” as children, the researchers write in a working paper newly posted at the Equality of Opportunity Project, which is co-directed by Chetty.

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