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Knowledge remittances: Does emigration foster innovation?

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  • Fackler, Thomas A.
  • Giesing, Yvonne
  • Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya

Abstract

Does the emigration of skilled individuals necessarily result in losses for source countries due to a brain drain? Combining industry-level patenting and migration data from 32 European countries, we show that emigration positively contributes to innovation in source countries and does not increase asymmetries in innovation levels between more and less advanced countries. We use changes in the labour mobility legislation within Europe as exogenous variation to establish causality. In addition, by analysing patent citation data, we provide evidence that these positive effects are driven by knowledge flows triggered by migrants. While skilled migrants are not inventing in their home country anymore, they contribute to cross-border knowledge and technology diffusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Fackler, Thomas A. & Giesing, Yvonne & Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya, 2020. "Knowledge remittances: Does emigration foster innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:9:s0048733319301829
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.103863
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    Cited by:

    1. Slivko, Olga, 2018. ""Brain gain" on Wikipedia: Immigrants return knowledge home," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-008, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    2. Katharina Candel-Haug & Alexander Cuntz & Oliver Falck, 2018. "Immigrants' Contribution to Innovativeness: Evidence from a Non-Selective Immigration Country," CESifo Working Paper Series 7409, CESifo.
    3. Massimiliano Coda Zabetta & Christian Chacua & Francesco Lissoni & Ernest Miguelez & J. Raffo & Deyun Yin, 2021. "The missing link: international migration in global clusters of innovation," Working Papers hal-03162708, HAL.
    4. Yvonne Giesing & Felicitas Schikora, 2020. "Migrants' Missing Votes," CESifo Working Paper Series 8570, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Innovation; Knowledge spillovers; Patent citations; EU Enlargement;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • 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
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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