Islands of Innovation and Internationally Networked Labor Markets: Magnetic Centers for Star Scientists?
Top researchers and outstanding scientists are an essential source of science-based innovation and regional development. The location pattern and international movements of the scientific elite, are, thus, of fundamental importance. However, despite a growing interest, there is only little empirical evidence about these core issues. Drawing on the results of a world-wide survey of 720 ?star scientists? (identified by the number of citations they generated in journals in the ISI databases in the period 1981-2002) this paper seeks to explore the role of islands of innovation in providing employment opportunities for stars. It is shown that US and European islands of innovation and their regional labor markets are at the forefront when it comes to produce (i.e. to educate) and to employ star scientists and to exchange them with other places. Furthermore, the paper provides evidence for the formation of a network among innovative regional labor markets based on international movements of the best and brightest scientific minds.
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