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

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  • Stefano BRESCHI
  • Francesco LISSONI
  • Ernest MIGUELEZ

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:\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).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2015-25
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    File URL: http://cahiersdugretha.u-bordeaux.fr/2015/2015-25.pdf
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    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. F. Lissoni & S. Breschi & E. Miguelez, 2014. "Foreign inventors in the US: Testing for diaspora and brain gain effects," Post-Print hal-02271253, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2018. "Global Collaborative Patents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 235-272, July.
    3. F. Lissoni & S. Breschi & E. Miguelez, 2014. "Foreign inventors in the US: Testing for diaspora and brain gain effects," Post-Print hal-02271253, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; brain gain; diaspora; diffusion; inventors; patents;
    All these keywords.

    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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