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Researchers’ mobility and its impact on scientific productivity"

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This article analyses the impact of mobility on researchers’ productivity. We address the relationship by developing a theoretical framework based on the job-matching approach for academics and the idea that productivity is driven by capital availability and peer effects. The empirical analysis is based on the entire careers of a sample of 171 UK academic researchers, spanning from 1957 to 2005. We analyse the impact of job changes on post mobility output in 3 and 6 year periods. Contrary to common wisdom, we do not find evidence that mobility per se increases academic performance. Mobility to better departments has a positive but weakly significant impact while downward mobility results in decreasing researchers’ productivity. Once we control for mobility associated with career progress, the results indicate significant strong positive impact for mobility to higher quality department. We estimated a set of alternative specifications of mobility finding evidence of an increase of productivity for mobility from industry to academia but only after an initial negative effect. In most cases mobility is associated with short-term decrease of productivity due to hypothesised adjustment costs.

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  • Fernández-Zubieta, Ana & Geuna, Aldo & Lawson, Cornelia, 2013. "Researchers’ mobility and its impact on scientific productivity"," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201313, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:201313
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    Cited by:

    1. Hartwig, Jochen, 2015. "Structural change, aggregate demand and employment dynamics in the OECD, 1970–2010," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 36-45.
    2. Lawson, Cornelia & Geuna, Aldo & Ana Fernández-Zubieta & Toselli, Manuel & Kataishi, Rodrigo, 2015. "International Careers of Researchers in Biomedical Sciences: A Comparison of the US and the UK," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201514, University of Turin.
    3. Geuna, Aldo & Kataishi, Rodrigo & Toselli, Manuel & Guzmán, Eduardo & Lawson, Cornelia & Fernandez-Zubieta, Ana & Barros, Beatriz, 2015. "SiSOB data extraction and codification: A tool to analyze scientific careers," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1645-1658.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:104:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1625-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Thomas Bolli & Jörg Schläpfer, 2015. "Job mobility, peer effects, and research productivity in economics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, pages 629-650.
    6. Scellato, Giuseppe & Franzoni, Chiara & Stephan, Paula, 2015. "Migrant scientists and international networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 108-120.
    7. Llopis,Óscar & Azagra-Caro,Joaquín M., 2015. "Who do you care about? Scientists’ personality traits and perceived beneficiary impact," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201503, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), revised 12 Jan 2018.

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