Economic Incentives and the Quality of Return Migrant Scholars: The Impact of China's Thousand Young Talents Program

47 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Ning Jia

Ning Jia

Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE)

Belton Fleisher

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Economics

Abstract

We study the effect of the Thousand Young Talents Program (TYTP) on the academic quality of return migrant scientists to China. Using a unique dataset of the top Chinese mathematics departments' new hires, we find that the program leads to considerable increases in measures of their educational background and research productivity. The effects are concentrated in the elite C9 league, where the proportion of hires who received PhD degrees from top-50 overseas mathematics departments increased nearly four times after the initiation of the program. The data also reveal large and statistically significant increases in weighted pre-hire publications and weighted citations to pre-hire publications under the program. However, it appears that research output of previously hired faculty members declined after the introduction of TYTP hires, suggesting minimal or even negative impact of TYTP on faculty colleagues' academic achievements.

Keywords: migration, scientific research, R&D policy

JEL Classification: J61, O31, O38

Suggested Citation

Jia, Ning and Fleisher, Belton, Economic Incentives and the Quality of Return Migrant Scholars: The Impact of China's Thousand Young Talents Program. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13073. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3562863

Ning Jia (Contact Author)

Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) ( email )

39 South College Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100081
China

Belton Fleisher

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Economics ( email )

United States

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