Daily Bread for 1.18.23: Study Finds Immigrants Out-Innovate Native-Born Americans

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 36. Sunrise is 7:20 AM and sunset 4:50 PM for 9h 30m 01s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 16% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Parks & Rec Board meets at 5:30 PM.  

 On this day in 1967, Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler,” is convicted of numerous crimes and is sentenced to life imprisonment.

Greg Rosalsky reports New nation, new ideas: A study finds immigrants out-innovate native-born Americans

Many studies over the years have suggested that immigrants are vital to our nation’s technological and economic progress. Today, around a quarter of all workers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are immigrants.

But while there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that immigrants play an important role in American innovation, a group of economists — Shai Bernstein, Rebecca Diamond, Abhisit Jiranaphawiboon, Timothy McQuade, and Beatriz Pousada — wanted to find a more precise estimate of how much immigrants contribute.

In a fascinating new working paper, the economists link patent records to more than 230 million Social Security numbers. With this incredible dataset, they are able to suss out who among patent-holders are immigrants (by cross-referencing their year of birth and the year they were assigned their Social Security number).

The economists find that, between 1990 and 2016, 16 percent of all US inventors were immigrants. More than that, they find that the “average immigrant is substantially more productive than the average US-born inventor.” Immigrant inventors produced almost a quarter of all patents during this period. These patents were disproportionately likely to be cited (a sign that they were valuable to their fields) and seem to have more financial value than the typical native-born patent. The economists also find evidence suggesting that immigrant inventors help native-born inventors become more productive. All in all, the economists estimate that immigrants are responsible for roughly 36% of innovation in America.

What is it that makes some of the native-born so resistant to immigration, and to the evident accomplishments of immigrants? In my own case, both my paternal and maternal families arrived in America before the Revolution, yet this lineage in America has not blinded my family to the accomplishments of newcomers to this continent.

What teaching makes one’s own birth, over which one has no control, more important than a welcoming embrace of those who arrive here and improve our society? The nativist would rather sit in sickness than stand in good health. 

It is an ignorant and arrogant teaching that trumpets native birth over America’s tradition of a free movement of capital, goods, and labor. 

Shark Tows Kayaker After Chomping on Fishing Bait:

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