Productivity gains from migration: Evidence from inventors

37 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2019 Last revised: 27 Nov 2022

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: January 1, 2022

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between migration and the productivity of high-skilled workers, as captured by inventors of international patent applications. Using machine learning techniques to uniquely identify inventors across patents, we are able to track the migration patterns of nearly one million individual inventors across countries. Migrant inventors account for more than nine percent of inventors in our sample. The econometric analysis seeks to explain the recurring finding in the literature that migrant inventors are more productive than non-migrant inventors. We find evidence that migrant inventors become about twenty-three 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, Productivity gains from migration: Evidence from inventors (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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