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Chinese Graduate Students and U.S. Scientific Productivity

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  • Patrick Gaulé

    (CERGE-EI, a joint workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic)

  • Mario Piacentini

    (OECD)

Abstract

The migration of young Chinese scientists to undertake graduate studies in U.S. universities is arguably one of the most important recent episodes of skilled migration. Using a new data set covering around 16,000 Ph.D. graduates in 161 U.S. chemistry departments, we show that Chinese students have a scientific output during their thesis that is significantly higher than other students. In fact, conditional on acceptance into the same programs, Chinese students perform about as well as the awardees of the NSF doctoral fellowship program. These results shed new light on the benefits of student migration on scientific productivity of destination countries. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Gaulé & Mario Piacentini, 2013. "Chinese Graduate Students and U.S. Scientific Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 698-701, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:2:p:698-701
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaulé, Patrick, 2014. "Who comes back and when? Return migration decisions of academic scientists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 461-464.
    2. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2015. "Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures of US Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(S1), pages 147-186.
    3. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2015. "Firms and the Economics of Skilled Immigration," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 115-152.
    4. Gaule, Patrick & Piacentini, Mario, 2017. "An Advisor Like Me? Advisor Gender and Post-Graduate Careers in Science," IZA Discussion Papers 10828, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Max Nathan, 2014. "The wider economic impacts of high-skilled migrants: a survey of the literature for receiving countries," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.
    6. William R. Kerr, 2013. "U.S. High-Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Empirical Approaches and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Paula Stephan & Giuseppe Scellato & Chiara Franzoni, 2015. "International Competition for PhDs and Postdoctoral Scholars: What Does (and Does Not) Matter," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 73-113.
    8. Fouarge D. & Özer M.N., 2014. "International mobility of students – Its impact on labour market forecasts and its contribution to the Dutch economy," ROA Technical Report 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
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    11. Jeffrey L. Furman, 2013. "The America COMPETES Acts: The Future of US Physical Science and Engineering Research?," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 101-149.
    12. 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.
    13. Partridge, Mark D. & Rickman, Dan S., 2012. "Integrating regional economic development analysis and land use economics," MPRA Paper 38291, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    18. Paula E. Stephan, 2011. "The Biomedical Workforce in the US: An Example of Positive Feedbacks," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economic Complexity of Technological Change, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Patrick Gaule & Mario Piacentini, 2015. "Immigration and Innovation: Chinese Graduate Students in U.S. Universities," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp529, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    20. Baruffaldi, Stefano & Visentin, Fabiana & Conti, Annamaria, 2016. "The productivity of science & engineering PhD students hired from supervisors’ networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 785-796.
    21. Winters, John V., 2014. "Foreign and Native-Born STEM Graduates and Innovation Intensity in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 8575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Chinese graduate students; student performance; scientific productivity; United States;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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