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Do migrants transfer productive knowledge back to their origin countries?

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  • Jérome VALETTE

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Abstract

This paper analyses whether international migrants contribute to foster innovation in developing countries by inducing a transfer of productive knowledge from destination to the migrants’ home countries. Using the Economic Complexity Index as a proxy for the amount of productive knowledge embedded in each countries, and bilateral migrant stocks to 20 OECD destination countries, we show that international emigration is a strong channel of technological transmission. Diasporas foster the local adoption of new technologies by connecting high technology countries with low ones, reducing the uncertainty surrounding their profitability. Our empirical results support the fact that technological transfers are more likely to occur out of more technologically advanced destinations and when emigration rates particularly high.

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  • Jérome VALETTE, 2016. "Do migrants transfer productive knowledge back to their origin countries?," Working Papers 201622, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1835
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    4. Riccardo Turati, 2020. "Network-based Connectedness and the Diffusion of Cultural Traits," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Adam Levai & Riccardo Turati, 2021. "The Impact of Immigration on Workers Protection," Working Papers wpdea2102, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technology transfer; Export sophistication; Diaspora externalities.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • 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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