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The research productivity of Chinese academic returnees from the Global West: An evaluation of Young 1000 Talents recipients’ productivity

Giulio Marini and Lili Yang
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Giulio Marini: Quantitative Social Science, Social Research Institute, UCL, London, UK
Lili Yang: University of Oxford, Department of Education, Centre for Global Higher Education, 15 Norham Gardens, OX2 6PY, Oxford, UK

No 21-02, DoQSS Working Papers from Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London

Abstract: This paper compares the research productivity between two groups of Chinese early- and mid-career researchers, who both got their PhDs in research leading institutions outside Mainland China. One group was recruited back to mainland China under a specific scheme, called “Young Thousand Talents” (“Y1000T”) – a clear attempt by the Chinese Government to tackle brain drain and to nurture Chinese universities. These researchers got their PhD predominantly, though not exclusively, from US institutions. Many other Chinese researchers of similar age, disciplines and prestige of PhD awarding institutions continue to work outside China at research-intensive universities. We collected a sample of this latter category of Chinese diasporas, searching from US research intensive universities. We use this distinction to set up a quasi-experimental research design in order to answer whether or not scheme recipients returnees (“Y1000T”) have been more productive in research, in comparison to those who remained outside China. The comparison primarily considers the number of publications. Results show that after coming back to China, Y1000T returnees have significantly increased their productivity in terms of the number of outputs, arguably because of their favourable research conditions.

Keywords: Policy effect; Talent mobility; China; the US; Early and mid-career researchers; Research performance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 I23 M52 O32 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-01-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna and nep-eff
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