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Migration, Cultural Diversity and Innovation: A European Perspective

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  • Valentina Bosetti
  • Cristina Cattaneo
  • Elena Verdolini

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of skilled migration on two measures of innovation, patenting and citations of scientific publications, in a panel of 20 European countries. Skilled migrants positively contribute to the knowledge formation in host countries as they add to the pool of skills in destination markets. Moreover, they positively affect natives' productivity, as new ideas are likely to arise through the interaction of diverse cultures and diverse approaches in problem solving. The empirical findings we present support this prediction. Greater diversity in the skilled professions are associated with higher levels of knowledge creation, measured either by the number of patents applied for through the Patent Cooperation Treaty or by the number of citations to published articles. This finding is robust to the use of different proxies for both the explanatory variables and the diversity index in the labour force. Specifically, we first measure diversity with a novel indicator which uses information on the skill level of foreigners’ occupations. We then check our results by following the general literature, which measures skills by looking at the foreigners’ level of education. We show that cultural diversity consistently increases the innovation performance of European Countries. Keywords: cultural diversity, innovation, skilled migration, knowledge production function, Europe JEL: F22, J24, O31

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 469.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:469

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  1. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an Application to the Eastern- Western European Integration," Working Papers 2072/42865, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  2. Pierpaolo Parrotta & Dario Pozzoli & Mariola Pytlikova, 2011. "The Nexus between Labor Diversity and Firm's Innovation," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2011005, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Maskus, Keith & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq & Stuen, Eric T., 2010. "Skilled Immigration and Innovation: Evidence from Enrollment Fluctuations in U.S. Doctoral Programs," CEPR Discussion Papers 7709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Carayol, Nicolas & Matt, Mireille, 2004. "Does research organization influence academic production?: Laboratory level evidence from a large European university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1081-1102, October.
  5. Katz, J. Sylvan & Martin, Ben R., 1997. "What is research collaboration?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, March.
  6. Edward P. Lazear, 1998. "Globalization and the Market for Teammates," NBER Working Papers 6579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mancusi, Maria Luisa, 2008. "International spillovers and absorptive capacity: A cross-country cross-sector analysis based on patents and citations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 155-165, December.
  8. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.
  9. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Kemeny, 2013. "Immigrant Diversity and Economic Development in Cities: A Critical Review," SERC Discussion Papers 0149, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  2. William R. Kerr, 2013. "U.S. High-Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Empirical Approaches and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nathan, Max, 2013. "The Wider Economic Impacts of High-Skilled Migrants: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Max Nathan, 2014. "The wider economic impacts of high-skilled migrants: a survey of the literature for receiving countries," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.
  5. Bratti, Massimiliano & Conti, Chiara, 2014. "The Effect of (Mostly Unskilled) Immigration on the Innovation of Italian Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 7922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Dr Max Nathan, 2013. "The Wider Economic Impacts Of High-Skilled Migrants: A Survey Of The Literature," NIESR Discussion Papers 11607, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

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