I appreciate that the researchers at the Equality of Opportunity Project are sticking to the facts, but I can't help wishing they speculate a little about why children from low-income families don't become inventors. In order to risk innovation, people have to feel confident they can take risks without losing their way of life. We can find plenty of research on the stress of being poor.
Vox: Groundbreaking empirical research shows where innovation really comes from, 2017-Dec-5 by Matthew Yglesias
Rather than cutting taxes on financially successful adults, we ought to think about how to improve what Chetty calls our “capacity to tap into currently underused potential.” He and his colleague calculate that if women, minorities, and children from low- and middle-income families invented at the same rate as white men from high-income (top 20%) families, there would 4 times as many inventors in America as there are today.
While Congress prepares to pass a tax bill that pushes the old conventional wisdom about bolstering financial incentives, empirical research suggests that starving the government of funds could be counterproductive. Ensuring that all children who show a talent for math and science are encouraged to innovate, provided with role models, and shown paths forward would cost money. But making sure that poor, female, black, and Latino kids aren’t locked out of innovation isn’t just a crucial matter of fairness; it’s quite literally the most important thing we can do for the future of humanity.