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Inventor migration and knowledge flows: A two-way communication channel?

Ernest Miguelez () and Claudia Noumedem Temgoua

Research Policy, 2020, vol. 49, issue 9

Abstract: This paper documents the influence of networks of highly skilled migrants on the international diffusion of knowledge – particularly those with degrees and occupations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It investigates knowledge inflows to host countries brought in by skilled immigrants. It then explores knowledge feedback to home countries generated by these migrants. We test our hypotheses in a country-pair gravity model setting, for the period 1990–2010, using patent citations across countries to measure international knowledge diffusion. Our results confirm our hypotheses on the positive impact of skilled migrants on knowledge flows to host and home countries. However, the former are not robust to instrumental variables and country-pair fixed-effects, and only matter in certain contexts: when the sending countries are developing nations and for knowledge diffusion within the boundaries of multinationals.

Keywords: STEM migration; Knowledge diffusion; Inventors; PCT patents; Gravity models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C8 J61 O31 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:respol:v:49:y:2020:i:9:s004873331930232x

DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.103914

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