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Global Talent Flows

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  • Sari Pekkala Kerr
  • William Kerr
  • Çağlar Özden
  • Christopher Parsons

Abstract

Highly skilled workers play a central and starring role in today's knowledge economy. Talented individuals make exceptional direct contributions--including breakthrough innovations and scientific discoveries--and coordinate and guide the actions of many others, propelling the knowledge frontier and spurring economic growth. In this process, the mobility of skilled workers becomes critical to enhancing productivity. Substantial attention has been paid to understanding the worldwide distribution of talent and how global migration flows further tilt the deck. Using newly available data, we first review the landscape of global talent mobility. We next consider the determinants of global talent flows at the individual and firm levels and sketch some important implications. Third, we review the national gatekeepers for skilled migration and broad differences in approaches used to select migrants for admission. Looking forward, the capacity of people, firms, and countries to successfully navigate this tangled web of global talent will be critical to their success.

Suggested Citation

  • Sari Pekkala Kerr & William Kerr & Çağlar Özden & Christopher Parsons, 2016. "Global Talent Flows," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 83-106, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:30:y:2016:i:4:p:83-106
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.30.4.83
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    Cited by:

    1. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William Kerr & Çağlar Özden & Christopher Parsons, 2017. "High-Skilled Migration and Agglomeration," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 201-234, September.
    2. Burzynski, Michal & Deuster, Christoph & Docquier, Frédéric, 2020. "Geography of skills and global inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    3. Black, Sandra E. & Muller, Chandra & Spitz-Oener, Alexandra & He, Ziwei & Hung, Koit & Warren, John Robert, 2021. "The importance of STEM: High school knowledge, skills and occupations in an era of growing inequality," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(7).
    4. D'Acunto, Francesco & Weber, Michael & Yang, Shuyao, 2017. "Manpower Constraints and Corporate Policies," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168109, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Advani, Arun & Koenig, Felix & Pessina, Lorenzo & Summers, Andy, 2020. "Importing Inequality: Immigration and the Top 1 Percent," IZA Discussion Papers 13731, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni & Ernest Miguelez, 2017. "Foreign-origin inventors in the USA: testing for diaspora and brain gain effects," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 1009-1038.
    7. Miguelez, Ernest & Noumedem Temgoua, Claudia, 2020. "Inventor migration and knowledge flows: A two-way communication channel?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    8. Drivas, Kyriakos & Economidou, Claire & Karamanis, Dimitrios & Sanders, Mark, 2020. "Mobility of highly skilled individuals and local innovation activity," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
    9. Mamertino, Mariano & Sinclair, Tara M., 2019. "Migration and online job search: A gravity model approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 51-53.
    10. Duncan, Alan & Harris, Mark N. & Mavisakalyan, Astghik & Nguyen, Toan, 2020. "Migration flows in commodity cycles: Assessing the role of migration policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    11. Kris Hartley & Jun Jie Woo & Sun Kyo Chung, 2018. "Urban innovation policy in the postdevelopmental era: Lessons from Singapore and Seoul," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 599-614, September.
    12. Leonardo Costa Ribeiro & Márcia Siqueira Rapini & Leandro Alves Silva & Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque, 2017. "Cross-border co-authorships in scientific articles and knowledge flows: implications for investigating an emerging international system of innovation," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG 553, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    13. Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado, 2017. "Income Disparities, Population and Migration Flows Over the Twenty First Century," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(2), pages 125-149, July.
    14. Orazbayev, Sultan, 2017. "Immigration barriers and net brain drain," MPRA Paper 78058, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Stark, Oded & Byra, Lukasz & Casarico, Alessandra & Uebelmesser, Silke, 2017. "A critical comparison of migration policies: Entry fee versus quota," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 91-107.
    16. Fassio, Claudio & Montobbio, Fabio & Venturini, Alessandra, 2019. "Skilled migration and innovation in European industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 706-718.
    17. Cuong Viet Nguyen & Quang Duy Phung, 2020. "Does Firm Agglomeration Induce Migration? Evidence from Vietnam," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(4), pages 3325-3337.
    18. Reinhard Weisser, 2021. "Run, graduate, run: Internationally mobile students’ reactions to changing political landscapes in Europe," Working Papers 2021.06, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
    19. Laursen, Keld & Leten, Bart & Nguyen, Ngoc Han & Vancauteren, Mark, 2020. "Mounting corporate innovation performance: The effects of high-skilled migrant hires and integration capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    20. Marino, Alba & Mudambi, Ram & Perri, Alessandra & Scalera, Vittoria G., 2020. "Ties that bind: Ethnic inventors in multinational enterprises’ knowledge integration and exploitation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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