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http://ssrn.com/abstract=983573
 
 

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Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion


William R. Kerr


Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

August 1, 2008

HBS Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Research Paper No. 06-022
Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 90, No. 3, pp. 518-537, 2008
Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 06-022

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 confirm 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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Technology Transfer, Tacit Knowledge, Productivity, Patents, Innovation, Research and Development, Entrepreneurship, Immigration, Networks

JEL Classification: F22, J44, J61, O31, O32, O33, O41, O57

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Date posted: May 2, 2007 ; Last revised: August 15, 2014

Suggested Citation

Kerr, William R., Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion (August 1, 2008). HBS Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Research Paper No. 06-022; Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 90, No. 3, pp. 518-537, 2008; Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 06-022. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=983573

Contact Information

William R. Kerr (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
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