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Foreign inventors in the US: Testing for Diaspora and Brain Gain Effects

Author

Listed:
  • Stefano Breschi

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Francesco Lissoni

    () (Université de Bordeaux)

  • Ernest Miguelez

    () (Université de Bordeaux)

Abstract

We assess the role of ethnic ties in the diffusion of technical knowledge by means of a database of patent filed by US-resident inventors of foreign origin, which we identify through name analysis. We consider ten important countries of origin of highly skilled migration to the US, both Asian and European, and test whether foreign inventors' patents are disproportionately cited by: (i) co-ethnic migrants ('diaspora' effect); and (ii) inventors residing in their country of origin ('brain gain' effect). We find evidence of the diaspora effect for Asian countries, but not for European ones, with the exception of Russia. Diaspora effects do not translate necessarily into a brain gain effect, most notably for India; nor brain gain occurs only in presence of diaspora effects. Both the diaspora and the brain gain effects bear less weight than other knowledge transmission channels, such as co-invention networks and multinational companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni & Ernest Miguelez, 2015. "Foreign inventors in the US: Testing for Diaspora and Brain Gain Effects," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1509, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1509
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernest Miguelez & Carsten Fink, 2013. "Measuring the International Mobility of Inventors: A New Database," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 08, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised May 2013.
    2. Stefano BRESCHI & Francesco LISSONI & Ernest MIGUELEZ, 2015. "Foreign inventors in the US:\r\n Testing for Diaspora and Brain Gain Effects," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2015-25, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Edoardo FERRUCCI & Francesco LISSONI & Ernest MIGUELEZ, 2020. "Coming from afar and picking a man’s job:Women immigrant inventors in the United States," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2020-01, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    2. Bahar, Dany & Choudhury, Prithwiraj & Rapoport, Hillel, 2020. "Migrant inventors and the technological advantage of nations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    3. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William Kerr & Çağlar Özden & Christopher Parsons, 2016. "Global Talent Flows," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 83-106, Fall.
    4. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2018. "Global Collaborative Patents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 235-272, July.
    5. Miguelez, Ernest, 2019. "Collaborative patents and the mobility of knowledge workers," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 86, pages 62-74.
    6. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William Kerr & Çağlar Özden & Christopher Parsons, 2017. "High-Skilled Migration and Agglomeration," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 201-234, September.
    7. Stefano BRESCHI & Francesco LISSONI & Ernest MIGUELEZ, 2015. "Foreign inventors in the US:\r\n Testing for Diaspora and Brain Gain Effects," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2015-25, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    8. Roberta Capello & Camilla Lenzi, 2019. "The nexus between inventors’ mobility and regional growth across European regions," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 457-486, December.
    9. Pekkala Kerr, Sari & Kerr, William, 2020. "Immigrant entrepreneurship in America: Evidence from the survey of business owners 2007 & 2012," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(3).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; brain gain; diaspora; diffusion; inventors; patents;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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