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The Mover's Advantage: Scientific Performance of Mobile Academics

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  • Chiara Franzoni
  • Giuseppe Scellato
  • Paula Stephan

Abstract

We investigate performance differentials associated with mobility for research active scientists residing in a broad spectrum of countries and working in a broad spectrum of fields using data from the GlobSci survey. We distinguish between two categories of mobile scientists: (1) those studying or working in a country other than that of origin and (2) those who have returned to their native country after a spell of study or work abroad. We compare the performance of these mobile scientists to natives who have never experienced a spell of mobility and are studying or working in their country of origin. We find evidence that mobile scientists perform better than those who have not experienced mobility. Among the mobile, we find some evidence that those who return perform better than the foreign born save in the United States, suggesting that positive selection is not at work in determining who remains outside the country. This is supported by the finding that for most countries the performance of returnees is no different than that of compatriots who remain abroad after controlling for other effects.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18577.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18577

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References

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  1. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 339-375, 05.
  2. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  4. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
  5. Borjas, George J. & Doran, Kirk B., 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp12-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Fabian Waldinger, 2012. "Peer Effects in Science: Evidence from the Dismissal of Scientists in Nazi Germany," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 838-861.
  7. Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John & Oettl, Alexander, 2011. "Brain drain or brain bank? The impact of skilled emigration on poor-country innovation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 43-55, January.
  8. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Eight Questions about Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 5730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Giuseppe Scellato & Chiara Franzoni & Paula Stephan, 2012. "Mobile Scientists and International Networks," NBER Working Papers 18613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January.
  11. repec:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i::p:339-375 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Roach, Michael & Sauermann, Henry, 2010. "A taste for science? PhD scientists' academic orientation and self-selection into research careers in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 422-434, April.
  13. Chiara Franzoni & Giuseppe Scellato & Paula Stephan, 2012. "Foreign Born Scientists: Mobility Patterns for Sixteen Countries," NBER Working Papers 18067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2014. "Which Peers Matter? The Relative Impacts of Collaborators, Colleagues, and Competitors," NBER Working Papers 20026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jürgen Janger & Klaus Nowotny, 2013. "Career choices in academia," WWWforEurope Working Papers series, WWWforEurope 36, WWWforEurope.

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