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Archived updates for Friday, June 03, 2005

TGIF for Age and Great Invention

Using data on Nobel Prize winners and great inventors, Benjamin F. Jones has concluded that "the age at which noted innovations are produced has increased by approximately 6 years over the 20th Century." He also finds that "innovators are much less productive at younger ages, beginning to produce major ideas 8 years later at the end of the 20th Century than they did at the beginning. Furthermore, "the later start to the career is not compensated for by increasing productivity beyond early middle age" and "this drop in productivity is particularly acute if innovators' raw ability is greatest when young."

Get Jones' NBER Working Paper No. 11359 here. And for further reading, check out his theories on the rising burden of knowledge here.

Thank Goodness Its Friday (and we're all another week older),

--Bill Heinze (e-mail, v-card)
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