Researchers’ mobility and its impact on scientific productivity
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 department s 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.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2013|
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