The elite brain drain

Rosalind S. Hunter, Andrew J. Oswald, Bruce G. Charlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We collect data on the movement and productivity of elite scientists. Their mobility is remarkable: nearly half of the world's most-cited physicists work outside their country of birth. We show they migrate systematically towards nations with large R & D spending. Our study cannot adjudicate on whether migration improves scientists'productivity, but we find that movers and stayers have identical h-index citations scores. Immigrants in the UK and US now win Nobel Prizes proportionately less often than earlier. US residents'h-indexes are relatively high. We describe a framework where a key role is played by low mobility costs in the modern world.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Economic Journal
Volume119
Issue number538
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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