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Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion

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  • William R. Kerr

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)

Abstract

This study explores the importance of knowledge transfer for international technology diffusion by examining ethnic scientific and entrepreneurial communities in the US and their ties to their home countries. US ethnic research communities are quantified by applying an ethnic-name database to individual patent records. International patent citations con.rm knowledge diffuses through ethnic networks, and manufacturing output in foreign countries increases with an elasticity of 0.1-0.3 to stronger scientific integration with the US frontier. To address reverse-causality concerns, reduced-form specifications exploit exogenous changes in US immigration quotas. Consistent with a model of sector reallocation, output growth in less developed economies is facilitated by employment gains, while more advanced economies experience sharper increases in labor productivity. The ethnic transfer mechanism is especially strong in high-tech industries and among Chinese economies. The findings suggest channels for transferring codified and tacit knowledge partly shape the effective technology frontiers of developing and emerging economies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 06-022.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision: Apr 2007
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:06-022

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Related research

Keywords: Technology Transfer; Tacit Knowledge; Productivity; Patents; Innovation; Research and Development; Entrepreneurship; Immigration; Networks.;

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  1. Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Determinants of Knowledge Flows and Their Effect on Innovation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 308-322, May.
  2. AnnaLee Saxenian, 2002. "Silicon Valley’s New Immigrant High-Growth Entrepreneurs," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 16(1), pages 20-31, February.
  3. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1990. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. William R. Kerr, 2008. "Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 518-537, August.
  5. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  6. Ramana Nanda & Tarun Khanna, 2010. "Diasporas and Domestic Entrepreneurs: Evidence from the Indian Software Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 991-1012, December.
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  8. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  11. Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. William R. Kerr, 2007. "The Ethnic Composition of US Inventors," Harvard Business School Working Papers, Harvard Business School 08-006, Harvard Business School.
  13. Peter Thompson, 2006. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: Evidence from Inventor- and Examiner-added Citations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 383-388, May.
  14. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
  15. Brian S. Silverman, 1999. "Technological Resources and the Direction of Corporate Diversification: Toward an Integration of the Resource-Based View and Transaction Cost Economics," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 45(8), pages 1109-1124, August.
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