Knowledge Remittances: Does Emigration Foster Innovation?

48 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2019

See all articles by Thomas Fackler

Thomas Fackler

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Yvonne Giesing

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute; Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU); ifo Institute

Nadzeya Laurentsyeva

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Does the emigration of skilled individuals necessarily result in losses for source countries due to the brain drain? Combining industry-level patenting and migration data from 32 European countries, we show that emigration in fact positively contributes to innovation in source countries. We use changes in the labour mobility legislation within Europe as exogenous variation to establish causality. By analysing patent citation data, we further provide evidence that these positive effects are driven by knowledge flows that are triggered by emigrants. While skilled migrants are not inventing in their home country anymore, they contribute to cross-border knowledge and technology diffusion and thus help less advanced countries to catch up to the technology frontier.

Keywords: migration, innovation, knowledge spillovers, patent citations, EU enlargement

JEL Classification: F220, J610, O330, O310, O520

Suggested Citation

Fackler, Thomas and Giesing, Yvonne and Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya, Knowledge Remittances: Does Emigration Foster Innovation? (2018). CESifo Working Paper No. 7420, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3338774

Thomas Fackler (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Dresden Branch
Einsteinstra├če 3
Dresden, 01069
Germany

Yvonne Giesing

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE 80539
Germany

ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Nadzeya Laurentsyeva

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

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