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Migrant inventors and the technological advantage of nations

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  • Bahar, Dany
  • Choudhury, Prithwiraj
  • Rapoport, Hillel

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between the presence of migrant inventors and the dynamics of innovation in the migrants’ receiving countries. We find that countries are 25 to 60% more likely to gain advantage in patenting in certain technologies given a twofold increase in the number of foreign inventors from other nations that specialize in those same technologies. For the average country in our sample, this number corresponds to only 25 inventors and a standard deviation of 135. We deal with endogeneity concerns by using historical migration networks to instrument for stocks of migrant inventors. Our results generalize the evidence of previous studies that show how migrant inventors “import” knowledge from their home countries, which translates into higher patenting in the receiving countries. We interpret these results as tangible evidence of migrants facilitating the technology-specific diffusion of knowledge across nations.

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  • Bahar, Dany & Choudhury, Prithwiraj & Rapoport, Hillel, 2020. "Migrant inventors and the technological advantage of nations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:9:s0048733320300275
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2020.103947
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    Cited by:

    1. Dario Diodato & Andrea Morrison & Sergio Petralia, 2018. "Migration and invention in the age of mass migration," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1835, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2018.
    2. Dany Bahar & Hillel Rapoport & Riccardo Turati, 2019. "Does Birthplace Diversity Affect Economic Complexity ? Cross-Country Evidence," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2019020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Ernest Miguelez & Valentina Di Iasio, 2021. "The ties that bind and transform: knowledge remittances, relatedness and the direction of technical change," Post-Print hal-03505186, HAL.
    4. Malgorzata Wachowska & Magdalena Homa, 2020. "The Role of Ethnic Diversity in Stimulating Innovation Processes: Comparative Analysis of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 1157-1176.
    5. Liu, Weiwei & Tao, Yuan & Bi, Kexin, 2022. "Capturing information on global knowledge flows from patent transfers: An empirical study using USPTO patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(5).
    6. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr & Arthur Sweetman, 2020. "An introduction to the economics of immigration in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1365-1403, November.
    7. Ajzenman, Nicolás & Aksoy, Cevat Giray & Guriev, Sergei, 2022. "Exposure to transit migration: Public attitudes and entrepreneurship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
    8. Alexander Jaax & Sébastien Miroudot, 2021. "Capturing value in GVCs through intangible assets: The role of the trade–investment–intellectual property nexus," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(3), pages 433-452, September.
    9. Adam Levai & Riccardo Turati, 2021. "The Impact of Immigration on Workers’ Protection," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2021021, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 07 Sep 2021.
    10. Agarwal, Ruchir & Ganguli, Ina & Gaule, Patrick & Smith, Geoff, 2021. "Why U.S. Immigration Barriers Matter for the Global Advancement of Science," IZA Discussion Papers 14016, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Fassio, Claudio & Igna, Ioana, 2021. "Foreign graduates in Sweden. The role of high tech sectors, STEM disciplines and cultural distance," Papers in Innovation Studies 2022/2, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    12. Santamaria, J., 2022. "‘When a Stranger Shall Sojourn with Thee': The Impact of the Venezuelan Exodus on Colombian Labor Markets," Documentos de trabajo - Alianza EFI 020046, Alianza EFI.
    13. Miguelez, Ernest & Noumedem Temgoua, Claudia, 2020. "Inventor migration and knowledge flows: A two-way communication channel?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    14. Demircioglu, Mehmet Akif & Vivona, Roberto, 2021. "Depoliticizing the European immigration debate: How to employ public sector innovation to integrate migrants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(2).
    15. Massimiliano CODA-ZABETTA & Christian CHACUA & Francesco LISSONI & Ernest MIGUELEZ & Julio RAFFO & Deyun YIN, 2021. "The missing link: international migration in global clusters of innovation," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2021-02, Bordeaux School of Economics (BSE).
    16. Cristelli, Gabriele & Lissoni, Francesco, 2020. "Free movement of inventors: open-border policy and innovation in Switzerland," MPRA Paper 107433, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Ernest Miguelez & Andrea Morrison, 2021. "“Migrant Inventors as Agents of Technological Change”," AQR Working Papers 202105, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Jul 2021.
    18. C'esar A. Hidalgo, 2022. "The Policy Implications of Economic Complexity," Papers 2205.02164, arXiv.org.
    19. Ceren Ozgen, 2021. "The economics of diversity: Innovation, productivity and the labour market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1168-1216, September.
    20. Mbaye, Linguère Mously & Okara, Assi & Tani, Massimiliano, 2022. "Labor Mobility and Innovation in Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 15004, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Antonin Bergeaud & Cyril Verluise, 2022. "A new dataset to study a century of innovation in Europe and in the US," CEP Discussion Papers dp1850, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    22. Nicolás Ajzenman & Cevat Giray Aksoy & Sergei Guriev, 2020. "Exposure to Transit Migration, Public Attitudes and Entrepreneurship," Department of Economics Working Papers wp_gob_2020_02, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    23. Ozgen, Ceren, 2021. "The Economics of Diversity: Innovation, Productivity, and the Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 14344, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    24. Linguère Mously Mbaye & Assi Okara & Massimiliano Tani, 2022. "Working Paper 361 - Labour mobility and innovation in Africa," Working Paper Series 2487, African Development Bank.
    25. Matthias Niggli, 2022. "'Moving On' -- Investigating Inventors' Ethnic Origins Using Supervised Learning," Papers 2201.00578, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; Migration; Patent; Technology; Knowledge;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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