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Migrant inventors and the technological advantage of nations

Author

Listed:
  • Dany Bahar

    (The Brookings Institution, CESifo - CESifo)

  • Prithwiraj Choudhury

    (Harvard Business School - Harvard University [Cambridge])

  • Hillel Rapoport

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, CESifo - CESifo)

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between the presence of migrant inventors and the dynamics of innovation in the migrants' receiving countries. We find that countries are 25 to 60% more likely to gain advantage in patenting in certain technologies given a twofold increase in the number of foreign inventors from other nations that specialize in those same technologies. For the average country in our sample, this number corresponds to only 25 inventors and a standard deviation of 135. We deal with endogeneity concerns by using historical migration networks to instrument for stocks of migrant inventors. Our results generalize the evidence of previous studies that show how migrant inventors "import" knowledge from their home countries, which translates into higher patenting in the receiving countries. We interpret these results as tangible evidence of migrants facilitating the technology-specific diffusion of knowledge across nations.

Suggested Citation

  • Dany Bahar & Prithwiraj Choudhury & Hillel Rapoport, 2020. "Migrant inventors and the technological advantage of nations," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-02973745, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-02973745
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2020.103947
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02973745
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    3. Cristelli, Gabriele & Lissoni, Francesco, 2020. "Free movement of inventors: open-border policy and innovation in Switzerland," MPRA Paper 107433, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Andrea MORRISON & Ernest MIGUELEZ, 2021. "Migrant Inventors as Agents of Technological Change," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2021-14, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    5. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr & Arthur Sweetman, 2020. "An introduction to the economics of immigration in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1365-1403, November.
    6. Miguelez, Ernest & Noumedem Temgoua, Claudia, 2020. "Inventor migration and knowledge flows: A two-way communication channel?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    7. Massimiliano Coda Zabetta & Christian Chacua & Francesco Lissoni & Ernest Miguelez & J. Raffo & Deyun Yin, 2021. "The missing link: international migration in global clusters of innovation," Working Papers hal-03162708, HAL.
    8. Demircioglu, Mehmet Akif & Vivona, Roberto, 2021. "Depoliticizing the European immigration debate: How to employ public sector innovation to integrate migrants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(2).
    9. Adam Levai & Riccardo Turati, 2021. "The Impact of Immigration on Workers Protection," Working Papers wpdea2102, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    10. Nicolás Ajzenman & Cevat Giray Aksoy & Sergei Guriev, 2020. "Exposure to Transit Migration, Public Attitudes and Entrepreneurship," Department of Economics Working Papers wp_gob_2020_02, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    11. Ozgen, Ceren, 2021. "The Economics of Diversity: Innovation, Productivity, and the Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 14344, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Ernest Miguelez & Andrea Morrison, 2021. "Migrant Inventors as Agents of Technological Change," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2125, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2021.
    13. Ajzenman, Nicolas & Aksoy, Cevat Giray & Guriev, Sergei, 2020. "Exposure to Transit Migration, Public Attitudes and Entrepreneurship," IZA Discussion Papers 13130, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Alexander Jaax & Sébastien Miroudot, 2021. "Capturing value in GVCs through intangible assets: The role of the trade–investment–intellectual property nexus," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(3), pages 433-452, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; Migration; Patent; Technology; Knowledge;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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