The Superstar Inventors and Entrepreneurs: How Were They Educated?


  • They are deeply grateful to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City for its very generous support of this research and the late Sue Anne Batey Blackman for her substantial contributions to this paper.


Observations, such as the many celebrated inventive entrepreneurs with minimal schooling, lead to the hypothesis that protracted and rigorous education can impede entrepreneurship. Systematic analysis of biographies of noted inventors and entrepreneurs appears not to support the hypothesis. We do find that with time, entrepreneurial and inventor education increases as technology grows more complex. However, we find at the same time that the educational attainment of inventors has grown more rapidly than that of entrepreneurs and the educational gap has tended to widen over time.