Immigration and Inventor Productivity

35 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2019 Last revised: 27 Jan 2021

See all articles by Gabriele Pellegrino

Gabriele Pellegrino

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Orion B. Penner

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Etienne Piguet

University of Neuchatel

Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Date Written: October 24, 2019

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between migration and the productivity of high-skilled workers, as captured by inventors listed in patent applications. Using machine learning techniques to identify inventors across patents uniquely, we are able to track the worldwide migration patterns of nearly one million individual inventors. Migrant inventors account for more than ten percent of inventors worldwide. The econometric analysis seeks to explain the recurring finding in the literature that migrant inventors are more productive than non-migrant inventors. We find that migrant inventors become about thirty-percent more productive after having migrated. The disambiguated inventor data are openly available.

Keywords: inventor; productivity; skilled migration

JEL Classification: F22, J61, O30

Suggested Citation

Pellegrino, Gabriele and Penner, Orion B. and Piguet, Etienne and de Rassenfosse, Gaétan, Immigration and Inventor Productivity (October 24, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3334085 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3334085

Gabriele Pellegrino

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Orion B. Penner

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Etienne Piguet

University of Neuchatel ( email )

1, A.-L. Breguet
Neuchatel, CH-2000
Switzerland

Gaétan De Rassenfosse (Contact Author)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

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