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Mobile Scientists and International Networks

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  • Giuseppe Scellato
  • Chiara Franzoni
  • Paula Stephan

Abstract

This paper explores the link between mobility and the presence of international research networks. Data come from the GlobSci survey of authors of articles published in 2009 in four fields of science working in sixteen countries. Summary evidence suggests that migration plays an important role in the formation of international networks. Approximately 40 percent of the foreign-born researchers report having kept research links with colleagues in their country of origin. Non-mobile researchers are less likely to collaborate with someone outside their country than are either the foreign born or returnees. When the non-mobile collaborate, their networks span fewer countries. Econometric results are consistent with the hypothesis that internationally mobile researchers contribute significantly to extending the international scope and quality of the research network in destination countries at no detriment to the quality of the research performed. Results also suggest that the “foreign premium” on collaboration propensity is driven in large part by mobile researchers who either trained or worked outside the destination country where they were surveyed in 2011. With but one exception, the mobility findings persist when we estimate models separately for the US, Europe, and other countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18613.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18613

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  1. Edler, Jakob & Fier, Heide & Grimpe, Christoph, 2008. "International Scientist Mobility and the Locus of Technology Transfer," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 08-082, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Wagner, Caroline S. & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2005. "Network structure, self-organization, and the growth of international collaboration in science," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1608-1618, December.
  3. Lars Nerdrum & Bo Sarpebakken, 2006. "Mobility of foreign researchers in Norway," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 217-229, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Waverly W. Ding & Sharon G. Levin & Paula E. Stephan & Anne E. Winkler, 2010. "The Impact of Information Technology on Academic Scientists' Productivity and Collaboration Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 56(9), pages 1439-1461, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Chiara Franzoni & Giuseppe Scellato & Paula Stephan, 2012. "The Mover's Advantage: Scientific Performance of Mobile Academics," NBER Working Papers 18577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas Bolli & Jörg Schläpfer, 2013. "Job Mobility, Peer Effects, and Research Productivity in Economics," KOF Working papers, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich 13-342, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  3. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni & Gianluca Tarasconi, 2014. "Inventor Data for Research on Migration and Innovation: A Survey and a Pilot," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division 17, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
  4. 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).
  5. Paula Stephan & Chiara Franzoni & Giuseppe Scellato, 2013. "Choice of Country by the Foreign Born for PhD and Postdoctoral Study: A Sixteen-Country Perspective," NBER Working Papers 18809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jochen Hartwig, 2013. "Structural change, aggregate demand and employment dynamics in the OECD, 1970-2010," KOF Working papers, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich 13-343, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

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