Patent Racism - NPR

Below is a recording of an NPR Planet Money episode (June 12, 2020) called “Patent Racism” that you may find intriguing. It is an interesting, concrete example of systemic racism at work. 

It is the story of Dr. Lisa Cook, an economist, and her research to disprove one of the most important theories in economics. Her work is interesting at two levels. First, she shows that education, market competition and strong patent laws are not sufficient to create the conditions that will allow innovation to flourish in an economy.

The idea that these are the only essential factors necessary was first proposed by economist Paul Romer, an idea for which he won a Nobel Prize. Second, her research uncovers a huge blind spot that historically has not been accounted for in economic theory—racial prejudice, terror and discrimination.  The episode is approximately 25 minutes long and the best part is that you won’t need a Ph.D in economics to understand it. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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