Cahier 2017-07

Title:Immigration externalities, knowledge flows and brain gain
Abstract:This paper documents the influence of networks of highly-skilled migrants on international knowledge flows. It adds to the growing literature on highly-skilled international migration and its contribution to international knowledge diffusion, in migrants’ home as well as host countries. In particular, it first explores knowledge feedbacks to home countries generated by migrant inventors, a representative category of high-skilled migrants, most of them scientists and engineers. Second, it investigates the knowledge inflows to host countries brought by inventors. We test our hypothesis of a positive relationship between knowledge flows and highly skilled migration in a country-pair gravity model setting, for the period 1990-2010, using patent citations across countries as a measure of international knowledge diffusion. Our results confirm our initial assumption on the positive impact of highly skilled migrants on knowledge flows to their homelands as well as to their host countries. We find doubling the number of inventors of a given nationality at a destination country, leads to an 8.3% increase in knowledge outflows to their home economy from that same host land; while a similar increase in the number of migrant inventors produces a 6% increase in the knowledge inflows to the host economy.
Keyword(s):migration, brain gain, diaspora, diffusion, inventors, patents, PCT patents
Auteur(s) :Ernest MIGUELEZ, Claudia NOUMEDEM TEMGOUA
JEL Class.:C8, J61, O31, O33

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