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Migration, Cultural Diversity and Innovation: A European Perspective

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  • Valentina Bosetti
  • Cristina Cattaneo
  • Elena Verdolini

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of skilled migration on two measures of innovation, patenting and citations of scientific publications, in a panel of 20 European countries. Skilled migrants positively contribute to the knowledge formation in host countries as they add to the pool of skills in destination markets. Moreover, they positively affect natives' productivity, as new ideas are likely to arise through the interaction of diverse cultures and diverse approaches in problem solving. The empirical findings we present support this prediction. Greater diversity in the skilled professions are associated with higher levels of knowledge creation, measured either by the number of patents applied for through the Patent Cooperation Treaty or by the number of citations to published articles. This finding is robust to the use of different proxies for both the explanatory variables and the diversity index in the labour force. Specifically, we first measure diversity with a novel indicator which uses information on the skill level of foreigners’ occupations. We then check our results by following the general literature, which measures skills by looking at the foreigners’ level of education. We show that cultural diversity consistently increases the innovation performance of European Countries. Keywords: cultural diversity, innovation, skilled migration, knowledge production function, Europe JEL: F22, J24, O31

Suggested Citation

  • Valentina Bosetti & Cristina Cattaneo & Elena Verdolini, 2012. "Migration, Cultural Diversity and Innovation: A European Perspective," Working Papers 469, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:469
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Maskus, Keith & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq & Stuen, Eric T., 2010. "Skilled Immigration and Innovation: Evidence from Enrollment Fluctuations in U.S. Doctoral Programs," CEPR Discussion Papers 7709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Against competition
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-12-07 18:45:24
    2. The diversity paradox
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-12-30 19:41:22
    3. (Mildly) against Brexit
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2016-02-28 18:13:09
    4. Blind to costs
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2016-10-25 17:21:37

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kemeny, Thomas, 2013. "Immigrant diversity and economic development in cities: a critical review," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58458, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Nathan, Max, 2014. "The wider economic impacts of high-skilled migrants: a survey of the literature for receiving countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57370, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Keith McLeod & Richard Fabling & David C. Maré, 2014. "Hiring New Ideas: International Migration and Firm Innovation in New Zealand," Working Papers 14_14, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    4. Nathan, Max, 2013. "The Wider Economic Impacts of High-Skilled Migrants: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Massimiliano Bratti & Chiara Conti, 2014. "The Effect of (Mostly Unskilled) Immigration on the Innovation of Italian Regions," ERSA conference papers ersa14p485, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Max Nathan, 2014. "The wider economic impacts of high-skilled migrants: a survey of the literature for receiving countries," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.
    7. William R. Kerr, 2013. "U.S. High-Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Empirical Approaches and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Fassio, Claudio & Montobbio, Fabio & Venturini, Alessandra, 2015. "How Do Native and Migrant Workers Contribute to Innovation?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201520, University of Turin.
    9. Alessandra Venturini, 2015. "How do Native and Migrant Workers Contribute to Innovation? A Study on France, Germany and the UK," Discussion Papers 30, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    10. Richter, Doreen, 2014. "Demographic change and innovation: The ongoing challenge from the diversity of the labor force," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 25(3), pages 166-184.
    11. Khanh Hoang, 2015. "Aiding innovation and entrepreneurship through migration policy: A view from Australia," International Journal of Social Sciences, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, vol. 4(3), pages 59-81, August.
    12. Fassio, Claudio & Kalantaryan, Sona & Venturini, Alessandra, 2015. "Human Resources and Innovation: Total Factor Productivity and Foreign Human Capital," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201536, University of Turin.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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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