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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. Jürgen Janger & Anna Strauss & David Campbell, 2013. "Academic careers: a cross-country perspective," WWWforEurope Working Papers series, WWWforEurope 37, WWWforEurope.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Tino Sanandaji, 2014. "The international mobility of billionaires," Small Business Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 329-338, February.
  5. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of "Brain Drain" of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 5124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Franzoni, Chiara & Scellato, Giuseppe & Stephan, Paula, 2014. "The mover’s advantage: The superior performance of migrant scientists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 89-93.
  8. Edler, Jakob & Fier, Heide & Grimpe, Christoph, 2011. "International scientist mobility and the locus of knowledge and technology transfer," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 791-805, July.
  9. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2011. "Developing science: Scientific performance and brain drains in the developing world," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 95-104, May.
  10. Pedro Albarrán & Raquel Carrasco & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2014. "The effect of spatial mobility and other factors on academic productivity : some evidence from a set of highly productive economists," Economics Working Papers we1415, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.

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