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Migration, communities-on-the-move and international innovation networks: An empirical analysis of Spanish regions

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  • D'Ambrosio, Anna

    ()

  • Montresor, Sandro

    ()

  • Parrilli, Mario Davide

    ()

  • Quatraro, Francesco

    () (University of Turin)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of migration on innovation networks between regions and foreign countries. We posit that immigrants (emigrants) act as a transnational knowledge bridge between the host (home) regions and their origin (destination) countries, reinforcing their networking in innovation and facilitating their co-inventorship. We argue that the social capital of both the hosting and the moving communities reinforces such a bridging role, along with the already recognised effect of language commonality and migrants’ human capital. By combining patent data with national data on residents and electors abroad, we apply a gravity model to the co-inventorship between Spanish provinces (NUTS3 regions) and a number of foreign countries, in different periods of the last decade. Both immigrants and emigrants are found to affect this kind of innovation networking. The social capital of both the moving and the hosting communities actually moderate this impact in a positive way. The effect of migration is stronger for more skilled migrants and with respect to non-Spanish speaking countries, pointing to a language-bridging role of migrants. Overall, individual and community aspects combine in accounting for the impact of migration on international innovation networks.

Suggested Citation

  • D'Ambrosio, Anna & Montresor, Sandro & Parrilli, Mario Davide & Quatraro, Francesco, 2017. "Migration, communities-on-the-move and international innovation networks: An empirical analysis of Spanish regions," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201701, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:201701
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