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Migrant scientists and international networks


  • Scellato, Giuseppe
  • Franzoni, Chiara
  • Stephan, Paula


We examine collaboration patterns of foreign scientists working in one of 16 countries in 2011 and compare them to the collaboration patterns of nonmigrant scientists and scientists with some international experience who have returned. Data come from the GlobSci survey. Major findings are that both foreign-born scientists and returnees have larger international research networks than do native researchers who lack an international background. The higher incidence of international collaboration among migrants is driven primarily by those who did not get their PhD training in the destination country but rather came for a postdoctoral position or directly for employment. We also find that a sizeable share of foreign born collaborate with researchers located in their country of origin and that migrants are also likely to collaborate with individuals from their home country who are working or studying in a third country (diaspora effect). Finally, the relative strength of the origin country's science base matters in the sense that those who come from a relatively stronger base have superior networks compared to those coming from a relatively weaker science base.

Suggested Citation

  • Scellato, Giuseppe & Franzoni, Chiara & Stephan, Paula, 2015. "Migrant scientists and international networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 108-120.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:44:y:2015:i:1:p:108-120 DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2014.07.014

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adams, James D. & Black, Grant C. & Clemmons, J. Roger & Stephan, Paula E., 2005. "Scientific teams and institutional collaborations: Evidence from U.S. universities, 1981-1999," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 259-285, April.
    2. 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.
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    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ekaterina L. Dyachenko, 2016. "Internal Migration of Scientists in Russia and the USA: The Case of Applied Physics," HSE Working papers WP BRP 58/STI/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Baruffaldi, Stefano H. & Di Maio, Giorgio & Landoni, Paolo, 2017. "Determinants of PhD holders’ use of social networking sites: An analysis based on LinkedIn," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 740-750.
    3. Mohammadi, Ali & Broström, Anders & Franzoni, Chiara, 2015. "Work Force Composition and Innovation: How Diversity in Employees’ Ethnical and Disciplinary Backgrounds Facilitates Knowledge Re-combination," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 413, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:113:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2478-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. A. Fernández & E. Ferrándiz & M. D. León, 2016. "Proximity dimensions and scientific collaboration among academic institutions in Europe: The closer, the better?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 106(3), pages 1073-1092, March.
    6. Fernandez-Zubieta, Ana & Geuna, Aldo & Lawson, Cornelia, 2015. "What do We Know of the Mobility of Research Scientists and of its Impact on Scientific Production," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201522, University of Turin.
    7. Francesco LISSONI, 2016. "Migration and Innovation Diffusion : An Eclectic Survey," Cahiers du GREThA 2016-11, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    8. Maki Kato & Asao Ando, 2017. "National ties of international scientific collaboration and researcher mobility found in Nature and Science," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(2), pages 673-694, February.
    9. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:17:y:2017:i:5:p:1009-1038. is not listed on IDEAS


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