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Higher Seminar in Economics | The Education-Innovation Gap with Barbara Biasi, Yale

Department of Economics is welcoming you to an online seminar with Barbara Biasi, Yale School of Management and NBER, presenting "The Education-Innovation Gap". This paper examines the production and diffusion of up-to-date knowledge by exploring the content of higher-education courses. We build new measure, the “education-innovation gap,” defined as the textual similarity between course syllabi and frontier knowledge published in academic journals.

Welcome to Higher Seminar in Economics organised by the Department of Economics, SSE. The seminar speaker is Barbara Biasi, Assistant Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management and a Faculty Research Fellow at NBER. Barbara will present the paper "The Education-Innovation Gap".

Abstract

This paper examines the production and diffusion of up-to-date knowledge by exploring the content of higher-education courses. We build new measure, the “education-innovation gap,” defined as the textual similarity between course syllabi and frontier knowledge published in academic journals. We estimate this measure comparing the text of 1.7 million university syllabi and 20 million articles published in scientific journals since 1975. With this measure, we document four findings. First, the gap varies substantially both across and within schools. Second, the gap is lower in more selective schools; even within selectivity tiers, it is lower in schools serving fewer economically disadvantaged and minority students. Third, courses see their gap decline when the instructor changes, and more research-active instructors teach courses with lower gaps. Fourth, the gap is correlated with students’ graduation rates and incomes after graduation, and these correlations remain when accounting for a large host of school observables. Our results suggest that the education-innovation gap is can be useful to understand how frontier knowledge is disseminated.

Barbara Biasi is a labor and public economist working on education, inequality, and creativity. In 2021-22, she is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in Rome, Italy.

This is an online seminar which will take place via Zoom. The link to the seminar will be distrubted by invitation only. Please contact Kristen.Pendleton@hhs.se if you would like to attend the seminar.

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