Austan Goolsbee writes,

Landing the best scientists in the world can start a place on the way to economic superstardom. The catch is, there are not many superstars and they mainly want to be near one another.

The study covered 1981-2004 but identified only 1,838 scientific superstars. That is about the same number of people who played in Major League Baseball over that period.

The study to which he refers is by Lynne G. Zucker and Michael R. Darby.

My take from this is that sheer numbers of trained scientists will not produce a major burst of innovation. This would be another reason not to fear the ability of China to produce large numbers of scientists or engineers.