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Diaspora Networks, Knowledge Flows and Brain Drain

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  • Ajay Agrawal

    (University of Toronto and NBER.)

Abstract

I summarize key findings from the literature on how distance, relationships, and ethnic ties influence knowledge flows and describe a model that relates emigration and the diaspora to knowledge flows. I then recap a key study that reports evidence of a link from the diaspora and knowledge flows to home country manufacturing productivity. Next, I summarize the ways in which intellectual property protection may influence knowledge flow patterns through incentives (market for ideas) and disincentives (anticommons). Finally, I speculate on how diaspora knowledge flows and intellectual property may alleviate developing country low-productivity equilibria (“poverty traps”) caused by an underinvestment in specialized human capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division in its series WIPO Economic Research Working Papers with number 15.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wip:wpaper:15

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  1. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
  2. Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John, 2008. "How do spatial and social proximity influence knowledge flows? Evidence from patent data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 258-269, September.
  3. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton, 2001. "Labor pooling, labor poaching and spatial clustering," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20103, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Joshua S. Gans & David H. Hsu & Scott Stern, 2008. "The Impact of Uncertain Intellectual Property Rights on the Market for Ideas: Evidence from Patent Grant Delays," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(5), pages 982-997, May.
  5. Fiona E. Murray & Scott Stern, 2007. "Do Formal Intellectual Property Rights Hinder the Free Flow of Scientific Knowledge?: An Empirical Test of the Anti-Commons Hypothesis," NBER Chapters, in: Academic Science and Entrepreneurship: Dual Engines of Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Heidi L. Williams, 2010. "Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from the Human Genome," NBER Working Papers 16213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2009. "Mobility of skilled workers and co-invention networks: an anatomy of localized knowledge flows," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 439-468, July.
  8. Frédéric DOCQUIER & Hillel RAPOPORT, 2011. "Globalization, brain drain and development," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  9. 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.
  10. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  11. Zvi Griliches, 1958. "Research Costs and Social Returns: Hybrid Corn and Related Innovations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 419.
  12. Gerlach, Heiko & Rønde, Thomas & Stahl, Konrad, 2009. "Labor pooling in R&D intensive industries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 99-111, January.
  13. William R. Kerr, 2008. "Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 518-537, August.
  14. Ramana Nanda & Tarun Khanna, 2007. "Diasporas and Domestic Entrepreneurs: Evidence from the Indian Software Industry," Harvard Business School Working Papers 08-003, Harvard Business School, revised Feb 2009.
  15. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox-Kean, 2005. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 465-466, March.
  16. Murray, Fiona & Stern, Scott, 2007. "Do formal intellectual property rights hinder the free flow of scientific knowledge?: An empirical test of the anti-commons hypothesis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 648-687, August.
  17. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
  18. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
  19. Benjamin F. Jones, 2008. "The Knowledge Trap: Human Capital and Development Reconsidered," NBER Working Papers 14138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. William R. Kerr, 2010. "The Agglomeration of U.S. Ethnic Inventors," NBER Chapters, in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 237-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox-Kean, 2005. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 450-460, March.
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