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The Elite Brain Drain

Author

Listed:
  • Hunter, Rosalind S.

    (University of Warwick)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    (University of Warwick)

  • Charlton, Bruce G.

    (Newcastle University)

Abstract

We collect data on the movement and productivity of elite scientists. Their mobility is remarkable: nearly half of the world's most-cited physicists work outside their country of birth. We show they migrate systematically towards nations with large R&D spending. Our study cannot adjudicate on whether migration improves scientists' productivity, but we find that movers and stayers have identical h-index citations scores. Immigrants in the UK and US now win Nobel Prizes proportionately less often than earlier. US residents' h-indexes are relatively high. We describe a framework where a key role is played by low mobility costs in the modern world.

Suggested Citation

  • Hunter, Rosalind S. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Charlton, Bruce G., 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 4005, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4005
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    mobility; science; brain drain; citations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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