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The Elite Brain Drain

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Author Info

  • Hunter, Rosalind S.

    (University of Warwick)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Charlton, Bruce G.

    ()
    (Newcastle University)

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4005.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2009, 119 (538), F231 - F251
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4005

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Keywords: mobility; science; brain drain; citations;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Working Papers in Economics 10/05, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  5. Tino Sanandaji, 2014. "The international mobility of billionaires," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 329-338, February.
  6. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2013. "Scientific Mobility and Knowledge Networks in High Emigration Countries: Evidence from the Pacific," Working Papers in Economics 13/02, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  7. Jürgen Janger & Anna Strauss & David Campbell, 2013. "Academic careers: a cross-country perspective," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 37, WWWforEurope.
  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.
  9. 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.

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