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Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion

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  • William R. Kerr

    (Harvard Business School and MIT)

Abstract

This study explores the role of U.S. ethnic scientific and entrepreneurial communities for international technology transfer to their home countries. U.S. ethnic researchers are quantified through an ethnic-name database and individual patent records. International patent citations confirm knowledge diffuses through ethnic networks, and manufacturing output in foreign countries increases with an elasticity of 0.1-0.3 to stronger scientific integration with the U.S. frontier. Specifications exploiting exogenous changes in U.S. immigration quotas address reverse-causality concerns. Exercises further differentiate responses by development stages in home countries. Ethnic technology transfers are particularly strong in high-tech industries and among Chinese economies. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:90:y:2008:i:3:p:518-537
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-555.
    2. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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