Immigration and Inventor Productivity
35 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2019 Last revised: 27 Jan 2021
Date Written: October 24, 2019
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: Suggested Citation