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The Elite Brain Drain

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  • RosalindS. Hunter
  • Andrew J. Oswald
  • Bruce G. Charlton

Abstract

We collect data on the movement and productivity of elite scientists. Their mobility is remarkable: nearly half of the world's most-cited physicists work outside their country of birth. We show they migrate systematically towards nations with large R & D spending. Our study cannot adjudicate on whether migration improves scientists' productivity, but we find that movers and stayers have identical h-index citations scores. Immigrants in the UK and US now win Nobel Prizes proportionately less often than earlier. US residents' h-indexes are relatively high. We describe a framework where a key role is played by low mobility costs in the modern world. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2009.02274.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 119 (2009)
Issue (Month): 538 (06)
Pages: F231-F251

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:538:p:f231-f251

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2013. "Scientific Mobility and Knowledge Networks in High Emigration Countries: Evidence from the Pacific," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1305, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2010. "The economic consequences of"brain drain"of the best and brightest: microeconomic evidence from five countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5394, The World Bank.
  3. Jürgen Janger & Anna Strauss & David Campbell, 2013. "Academic careers: a cross-country perspective," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 37, WWWforEurope.
  4. Edler, Jakob & Fier, Heide & Grimpe, Christoph, 2011. "International scientist mobility and the locus of knowledge and technology transfer," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 791-805, July.
  5. Constant, Amelie F. & Tien, Bienvenue N., 2009. "Brainy Africans to Fortress Europe: For Money or Colonial Vestiges?," IZA Discussion Papers 4615, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2011. "Developing science: Scientific performance and brain drains in the developing world," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 95-104, May.
  7. Borowiecki, Karol Jan, 2011. "Geographic Clustering and Productivity: An Instrumental Variable Approach for Classical Composers," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48738, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  8. Franzoni, Chiara & Scellato, Giuseppe & Stephan, Paula, 2014. "The mover’s advantage: The superior performance of migrant scientists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 89-93.

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