IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/17800.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians

Author

Listed:
  • George J. Borjas
  • Kirk B. Doran

Abstract

It has been difficult to open up the black box of knowledge production. We use unique international data on the publications, citations, and affiliations of mathematicians to examine the impact of a large post-1992 influx of Soviet mathematicians on the productivity of their American counterparts. We find a negative productivity effect on those mathematicians whose research overlapped with that of the Soviets. We also document an increased mobility rate (to lower-quality institutions and out of active publishing) and a reduced likelihood of producing "home run" papers. Although the total product of the pre-existing American mathematicians shrank, the Soviet contribution to American mathematics filled in the gap. However, there is no evidence that the Soviets greatly increased the size of the "mathematics pie." Finally, we find that there are significant international differences in the productivity effects of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that these international differences can be explained by both differences in the size of the émigré flow into the various countries and in how connected each country is to the global market for mathematical publications.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," NBER Working Papers 17800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17800
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17800.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ina Ganguli, 2017. "Saving Soviet Science: The Impact of Grants When Government R&D Funding Disappears," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 165-201, April.
    2. Fabian Waldinger, 2012. "Peer Effects in Science: Evidence from the Dismissal of Scientists in Nazi Germany," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 838-861.
    3. Fabian Waldinger, 2010. "Quality Matters: The Expulsion of Professors and the Consequences for PhD Student Outcomes in Nazi Germany," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 787-831, August.
    4. Jennifer Hunt & Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle, 2010. "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 31-56, April.
    5. Robert E. Lucas, 2009. "Ideas and Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(301), pages 1-19, February.
    6. Ran Abramitzky & Isabelle Sin, 2014. "Book Translations As Idea Flows: The Effects Of The Collapse Of Communism On The Diffusion Of Knowledge," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(6), pages 1453-1520, December.
    7. Charles I. Jones & Paul M. Romer, 2010. "The New Kaldor Facts: Ideas, Institutions, Population, and Human Capital," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 224-245, January.
    8. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
    9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bächli, Mirjam & Tsankova, Teodora, 2020. "Free Movement of Workers and Native Demand for Tertiary Education," Other publications TiSEM 33968781-3521-459e-86c9-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2015. "Cognitive Mobility: Labor Market Responses to Supply Shocks in the Space of Ideas," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(S1), pages 109-145.
    3. Bächli, Mirjam & Teodora Tsankova, 2020. "Free Movement of Workers and Native Demand for Tertiary Education," Economics Working Paper Series 2019, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    4. Ganguli, Ina, 2014. "Immigration & Ideas: What Did Russian Scientists 'Bring' to the US?," SITE Working Paper Series 30, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics.
    5. Bachli, Mirjam & Tsankova, Teodora, 2020. "Free movement of workers and native demand for tertiary education," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 515, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    6. Carlino, Gerald & Kerr, William R., 2015. "Agglomeration and Innovation," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 349-404, Elsevier.
    7. Thu Hien DAO & Frédéric DOCQUIER & Mathilde MAUREL & Pierre SCHAUS, 2017. "Global Migration in the 20th and 21st Centuries: the Unstoppable Force of Demography," Working Paper 96d89f28-0e80-4703-9b33-6, Agence française de développement.
    8. Lewis, Ethan & Peri, Giovanni, 2015. "Immigration and the Economy of Cities and Regions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 625-685, Elsevier.
    9. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Effect of Trade and Migration on Income," NBER Working Papers 18193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. George J. Borjas, 2019. "Immigration and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 25836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hausmann, Ricardo & Nedelkoska, Ljubica, 2018. "Welcome home in a crisis: Effects of return migration on the non-migrants' wages and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 101-132.
    12. Thomas Cornelissen & Christian Dustmann & Uta Schönberg, 2017. "Peer Effects in the Workplace," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 425-456, February.
    13. Anelí Bongersy & Carmen Díaz-Roldán & José L. Torres, 2018. "Highly Skilled International Migration, STEM Workers, and Innovation," Working Papers 18-02, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
    14. 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.
    15. Jones, C.I., 2016. "The Facts of Economic Growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 3-69, Elsevier.
    16. Ina Ganguli, 2015. "Immigration and Ideas: What Did Russian Scientists "Bring" to the United States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(S1), pages 257-288.
    17. Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel & Mutlu Yuksel, 2015. "The Long-Term Direct and External Effects of Jewish Expulsions in Nazi Germany," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 58-85, August.
    18. repec:bof:bofrdp:urn:nbn:fi:bof-201512111472 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Bonin, Holger, 2017. "The Potential Economic Benefits of Education of Migrants in the EU," IZA Research Reports 75, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2011. "Highly Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 385-411, July.
    21. Winters, John V., 2014. "Foreign and Native-Born STEM Graduates and Innovation Intensity in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 8575, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17800. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.