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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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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Tino Sanandaji, 2014. "The international mobility of billionaires," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 329-338, February.
  4. Amelie F. Constant & Bienvenue N. Tien, 2009. "Brainy Africans to Fortress Europe: For Money or Colonial Vestiges?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 965, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Jürgen Janger & Anna Strauss & David Campbell, 2013. "Academic careers: a cross-country perspective," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 37, WWWforEurope.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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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