Rather than stimulating innovation and progress, great inequality wastes the talents of a large proportion of the population. The evidence shows that it reduces children’s educational performance as well as reducing social mobility. Economic studies of the relationship between the extent of inequality and economic growth rates have mixed results: most suggest that greater equality is beneficial to growth but a few suggest the opposite. As a check on how inequality might affect creativeness and innovation, we have now looked at the relationship between inequality and the number of patents granted per head of population. There is no tendency whatsoever for more unequal societies to gain more patent's per head than more equal ones. (N.B. This is a correction. Using published patents data that turned out to be inaccurate, we had previously stated that more equal societies actually had significantly higher patents per head).
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