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: Technology & Innovation

Chart Jun 13, 2018

The entrepreneurship rate has fallen by almost half for workers with a bachelor’s degree.

This chart examines trends in entrepreneurship—defined here as self-employment with at least 10 employees—by the educational attainment of entrepreneurs. For people with more than a high school diploma, entrepreneurship is a less common vocation than it was 25 years ago. The decline is especially pronounced among those with advanced degrees: in 1992 4.0 percent of 25- to 54-year-olds with an advanced degree (beyond a bachelor’s) were entrepreneurs. By 2017 this rate had fallen to 2.2 percent.

Chart Dec 13, 2017

Patenting is Closely Related to Innovation

Though many patents are certainly valuable to workers and firms that possess them, it might be less immediately obvious whether patents are closely associated with innovation. Measuring this link is critical to understanding both the social benefits of the patent system and the usefulness of the patent-based approach to analyzing innovation. In this chart the share of firms reporting that they had implemented an improved product, service, or business method is plotted against the number of patents generated by every 1,000 employees.

Chart Oct 20, 2014

Comparison of U.S. Patents Filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty for Clean Energy and Water Purification, 1999-2011

Solutions to the country’s growing water challenges lie, in part, with the development and adoption of new innovative technologies. Yet, in comparison to the clean energy sector, innovation in the water sector has remained low. Using the numbers of patents filed in clean energy and water purification as indicators, the clean energy sector has exhibited a much higher rate of innovation over the past decade.