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Knowledge Remittances: Does Emigration Foster Innovation?

Author

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  • Thomas Fackler

    ()

  • Yvonne Giesing

    ()

  • Nadzeya Laurentsyeva

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Fackler & Yvonne Giesing & Nadzeya Laurentsyeva, 2018. "Knowledge Remittances: Does Emigration Foster Innovation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7420, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7420
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp7420.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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 Group Munich.
    2. Slivko, Olga, 2018. ""Brain gain" on Wikipedia: Immigrants return knowledge home," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-008, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; innovation; knowledge spillovers; patent citations; EU enlargement;

    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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