Mobility, Retention and Productivity of Genomics Scientists in the United States
Nature Biotechnology, 32(9): 953-958, 2014
6 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2014
Date Written: 2014
Scientific and technological innovations by scientists are critical to the long-term economic health of the U.S. However, anecdotal evidence from space exploration, high energy physics and biotechnology suggests that the U.S. might no longer be able to retain or attract such talent at previous levels, as they return to (or remain in) emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) or non-US OECD countries. We study the mobility, retention and productivity of 5,809 genomics scientists by tracing and analyzing their detailed longitudinal location information from 1988 to 2009. The proportion and number of scientists residing in the U.S., and the time they spend there have decreased substantially since the mid-1990s, contrasting with the increase in the BRIC and non-US OECD countries. The overall reduction in the U.S. is driven largely by the decrease in public sector scientists. Paralleling this, their innovative productivity growth has also slowed down.
Keywords: Biotechnology, innovation, genomics scientists, mobility, productivity, patents
JEL Classification: J61, J68, O31, O32, O34, O38
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