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Measuring the International Mobility of Inventors: A New Database

Author

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  • Ernest Miguelez

    (World Intellectual Property Organization, Economics and Statistics Division, Geneva, Switzerland)

  • Carsten Fink

    (World Intellectual Property Organization, Economics and Statistics Division, Geneva, Switzerland)

Abstract

This paper has two objectives. First, it describes a new database mapping migratory patterns of inventors, extracted from information included in patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. We explain in detail the information contained in the database and discuss the usefulness and reliability of the underlying data. Second, the paper provides a descriptive overview of inventor migration patterns, based on the information contained in the newly constructed database. Among the largest receiving countries, we find that the United States exhibits by far the highest inventor immigration rate, followed by Australia and Canada. European countries lag behind in attracting inventive talent; in addition, France, Germany, and the UK see more inventors emigrating than immigrating. In relation to the number of home country inventors, Central American, Caribbean and African economies show the largest inventor brain drain.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernest Miguelez & Carsten Fink, 2013. "Measuring the International Mobility of Inventors: A New Database," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 08, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised May 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:wip:wpaper:08
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    brain drain; skilled international migration; inventors; PCT patents;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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