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Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion

William Kerr ()

No 06-022, Harvard Business School Working Papers from Harvard Business School

Abstract: This study explores the importance of knowledge transfer for international technology diffusion by examining ethnic scientific and entrepreneurial communities in the US and their ties to their home countries. US ethnic research communities are quantified by applying an ethnic-name database to individual patent records. International patent citations con.rm knowledge diffuses through ethnic networks, and manufacturing output in foreign countries increases with an elasticity of 0.1-0.3 to stronger scientific integration with the US frontier. To address reverse-causality concerns, reduced-form specifications exploit exogenous changes in US immigration quotas. Consistent with a model of sector reallocation, output growth in less developed economies is facilitated by employment gains, while more advanced economies experience sharper increases in labor productivity. The ethnic transfer mechanism is especially strong in high-tech industries and among Chinese economies. The findings suggest channels for transferring codified and tacit knowledge partly shape the effective technology frontiers of developing and emerging economies.

Keywords: Technology Transfer; Tacit Knowledge; Productivity; Patents; Innovation; Research and Development; Entrepreneurship; Immigration; Networks. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 J44 J61 O31 O32 O33 O41 O57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-ino, nep-ipr, nep-pr~, nep-mig and nep-ure
Date: 2005-11, Revised 2007-04
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Journal Article: Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion (2008) Downloads
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