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Cognitive Mobility: Labor Market Responses to Supply Shocks in the Space of Ideas

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  • George J. Borjas
  • Kirk B. Doran

Abstract

Knowledge producers conducting research on a particular set of questions may respond to supply and demand shocks by shifting resources to a different set of questions. Cognitive mobility measures the transition from one location to another in idea space. We examine the cognitive mobility flows unleashed by the influx of Soviet mathematicians into the United States after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The data reveal that American mathematicians moved away from fields that received large numbers of Soviet émigrés. Diminishing returns in specific research areas, rather than beneficial human capital spillovers, dominated the cognitive mobility decisions of knowledge producers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18614.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18614

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Helmers & Henry Overman, 2013. "My Precious! The Location and Diffusion of Scientific Research: Evidence from the Synchrotron Diamond Light Source," SERC Discussion Papers 0131, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  2. 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.
  3. Henry Overman & Christian Helmers, 2013. "My precious! The location and di_x000B_ffusion of scientifi_x000C_c research: evidence from the Synchrotron Diamond Light Source," ERSA conference papers ersa13p654, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Ajay Agrawal & Avi Goldfarb & Florenta Teodoridis, 2013. "Does Knowledge Accumulation Increase the Returns to Collaboration?," NBER Working Papers 19694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pierre Azoulay & Jeffrey L. Furman & Joshua L. Krieger & Fiona E. Murray, 2012. "Retractions," NBER Working Papers 18499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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