Recent research shows that the high inequality of opportunity associated with low inter-generational economic mobility is shrinking America's pool of potential inventors. In Germany – where social mobility is even lower than in the US – this dynamic is severely undermining innovative entrepreneurship.
Why has Germany, the land of history-making innovators like Johannes Gutenberg and Albert Einstein, not produced high-tech giants like Google, Amazon, or Facebook? Some blame the stigma associated with failure in Germany for discouraging innovative entrepreneurship. Others point to high bureaucratic hurdles to starting a business. But there is another, more worrying reason why Germany has lost its innovative momentum: its potential pioneers from disadvantaged households are not getting the chance to thrive.