Immigrant Inventors and Diversity in the Age of Mass Migration

43 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020

See all articles by Francesco Campo

Francesco Campo

University of Milan Bicocca

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

Andrea Morrison

Bocconi University; Utrecht University

Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

Bocconi University - Department of Economics and Paolo Baffi Centre on Central Banking and Financial Regulation

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 24, 2020

Abstract

A possible unintended but damaging consequence of anti-immigrant rhetoric, and the policies it inspires, is that they may put high-skilled immigrants off more than low-skilled ones at times when countries and businesses intensify their competition for global talent. We investigate this argument following the location choices of thousands of immigrant inventors across US counties during the Age of Mass Migration. To do so we combine a unique USPTO historical patent dataset with Census data and exploit exogenous variation in both immigration flows and diversity induced by former settlements, WWI, and the 1920s Immigration Acts. We find that co-ethnic networks play an important role in attracting immigrant inventors. However, we also find that immigrant diversity acts as an additional significant pull factor. This is mainly due to externalities that foster immigrant inventors’ innovativeness. These findings are relevant for today’s advanced economies that have become major receivers of migrant flows and, in a long-term perspective, have started thinking about immigration in terms of not only level but also composition.

Keywords: F22, J61, O31

JEL Classification: International Migration, Cultural Diversity, Innovation

Suggested Citation

Campo, Francesco and Mendola, Mariapia and Mendola, Mariapia and Morrison, Andrea and Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P., Immigrant Inventors and Diversity in the Age of Mass Migration (June 24, 2020). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 446, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3634474

Francesco Campo

University of Milan Bicocca ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1
Milan, MI Milan 20126
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.unimib.it/francesco-campo

Mariapia Mendola (Contact Author)

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milano, 20122
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

Andrea Morrison

Bocconi University ( email )

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

Bocconi University - Department of Economics and Paolo Baffi Centre on Central Banking and Financial Regulation ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

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