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Quora Answer : Why does the vast majority of innovation happen in the western world?

Nov 16, 2015

It's because the indices that are used to define "innovation" are defined by Westerners to capture what they care about.

If a woman in rural Nepal has a fantastically original idea for a domestic implement, the chances are she just makes and uses it. She doesn't think "Ah ... there's a business here. Let me call up a lawyer, try to patent it and then get it manufactured, so that hundreds of thousands of women like me can buy one in Walmart".

Westerners DO disproportionally think like that, so they record instances of people trying to get things patented, and number of units sold in Walmart or dollars made AS the indicators of innovation.