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Coming from afar and picking a man’s job:Women immigrant inventors in the United States

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  • Edoardo FERRUCCI
  • Francesco LISSONI
  • Ernest MIGUELEZ

Abstract

Based on an original dataset spanning over 20 years of patenting at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), we identify the gender, residence, and nationality of inventors, based on which we also identify migrants and natives in the United States, as well as stayers (non-migrants) in the migrants’ countries of origin. We find that the share of women over the total number of US-resident inventors (or WIR: Women Inventor Rate) is generally higher for migrants than for US natives, so that the former have contributed significantly to the increase of WIR in the US over the past quarter century. At the same time, the WIR for migrants is higher than that of stayers, which suggests that migration to the US represents an opportunity for high-skilled women to undertake a career in R&D, notwithstanding the obstacles they may face, and irrespective of their country of origin. This intuition is reinforced by an analysis of women inventors’ technological specialization, which reveals that female migrants are better represented than natives and stayers in men-dominated fields.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, Bordeaux School of Economics (BSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:bdxewp:2020-01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    STEM migrants; High-skilled migrants; Inventors; Gender;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • 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
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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