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Foreign-origin inventors in the USA: Testing for diaspora and brain gain effects

Author

Listed:
  • S. Breschi
  • Francesco Lissoni

    (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Ernest Miguelez

    (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We assess the role of ethnic ties in the diffusion of technical knowledge using a database of patents filed by US-resident inventors of foreign origin, identified by name analysis. We consider 10 leading source countries, both Asian and European, of highly skilled migration to the USA 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 the Asian but not the European countries, with the exception of Russia. A diaspora effect does not necessarily translate into a brain gain effect, most notably for India where no such effect is detected. Neither does a brain gain effect occur solely in conjunction with a diaspora effect. Overall, diaspora and brain gain effects carry less weight than other channels of knowledge transmission, most notably co-invention networks and multinational companies.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Breschi & Francesco Lissoni & Ernest Miguelez, 2017. "Foreign-origin inventors in the USA: Testing for diaspora and brain gain effects," Post-Print hal-02485403, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02485403
    DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lbw044
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02485403
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    Cited by:

    1. Diego Useche & Ernest Miguelez & Francesco Lissoni, 2020. "Highly skilled and well connected: Migrant inventors in cross-border M&As," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 51(5), pages 737-763, July.
    2. Ernest MIGUELEZ & Julio RAFFO & Christian CHACUA & Massimiliano CODA-ZABETTA & Deyun YIN & Francesco LISSONI & Gianluca TARASCONI, 2019. "Tied in: the Global Network of Local Innovation," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2019-16, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    3. Dany Bahar, 2020. "Diasporas and Economic Development: A Review of the Evidence and Policy," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 62(2), pages 200-214, June.
    4. 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).
    5. Alireza Naghavi & Chiara Strozzi, 2017. "Intellectual property rights and diaspora knowledge networks: Can patent protection generate brain gain from skilled migration?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(4), pages 995-1022, November.
    6. Bahar, Dany & Choudhury, Prithwiraj & Rapoport, Hillel, 2020. "Migrant inventors and the technological advantage of nations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    7. Miguelez, Ernest, 2019. "Collaborative patents and the mobility of knowledge workers," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 86, pages 62-74.
    8. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni & Ernest Miguelez, 2018. "Return Migrants' Self-Selection: Evidence for Indian Inventors," NBER Chapters, in: The Roles of Immigrants and Foreign Students in US Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, pages 17-48, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. Caviggioli, Federico & Jensen, Paul & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2020. "Highly skilled migrants and technological diversification in the US and Europe," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    11. Florian Seliger & Gaéran de Rassenfosse & Jan Kozak, 2019. "Geocoding of worldwide patent data," KOF Working papers 19-458, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    12. Fassio, Claudio & Montobbio, Fabio & Venturini, Alessandra, 2019. "Skilled migration and innovation in European industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 706-718.
    13. 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).
    14. Dany Bahar, 0. "Diasporas and Economic Development: A Review of the Evidence and Policy," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 0, pages 1-15.
    15. Diego Useche & Ernest Miguelez & Francesco Lissoni, 2019. "Highly skilled and well connected: Migrant inventors in cross-border M&As," Post-Print halshs-02024499, HAL.
    16. Zacchia, Paolo, 2018. "Benefiting colleagues but not the city: Localized effects from the relocation of superstar inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 992-1005.
    17. Brixy, Udo & Brunow, Stephan & D'Ambrosio, Anna, 2020. "The unlikely encounter: Is ethnic diversity in start-ups associated with innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asia; Migration; Diffusion; Europe; Diaspora; Brain gain; Inventors; knowledge; Patents; United States; Ethnic group; Immigrant nternational; Skilled labor; Assessment method;

    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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