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The Value of Peripatetic Economists: A Sesqui-Difference Evaluation of Bob Gregory


  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.

    () (Barnard College)


I ask generally whether a country can benefit from the temporary importation of human capital, and specifically whether a program that attracts large groups of academic visitors to a distant country benefits it by generating additional scholarly research on local issues. Using the list of visitors to the ANU Research School's Economics Program, I estimate this impact from responses to a survey in which visitors described their research before and after their visit and designated as a "control person" another economist who had a similar career but had not visited. The matching of the control may be viewed as being along both observable and (to the researcher) unobservable characteristics of the "treated" and control individuals. The results show a highly significant ceteris paribus impact of such visits on the visitor's subsequent research. Valuing this extra research based on the scholarly citations it received and the effects of citations on salaries shows a substantial monetary impact of visiting economists. Less tangible additional impacts in terms of research style also clearly result.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2005. "The Value of Peripatetic Economists: A Sesqui-Difference Evaluation of Bob Gregory," IZA Discussion Papers 1580, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1580

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Lawson & Jayme Lemke, 2012. "Travel visas," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 17-36, October.
    2. Massimiliano Tani, 2006. "International Business Visits," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 13(4), pages 323-337.
    3. Piva, Mariacristina & Tani, Massimiliano & Vivarelli, Marco, 2017. "Labour mobility through business visits as a way to foster productivity," MERIT Working Papers 004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Piva, Mariacristina & Tani, Massimiliano & Vivarelli, Marco, 2017. "The Productivity Impact of Business Mobility: International Evidence," GLO Discussion Paper Series 14, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Piva, Mariacristina & Tani, Massimiliano & Vivarelli, Marco, 2016. "Business Visits, Knowledge Diffusion and Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 10421, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    control groups; bibliometrics; human capital; evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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