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Division of Science Resources Statistics Skilled Migrants in a (Human) Networked World: Beyond Brain Drain and Neuro-mercantilism RESEARCH TRENDS SEMINAR:

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Presentation on theme: "Division of Science Resources Statistics Skilled Migrants in a (Human) Networked World: Beyond Brain Drain and Neuro-mercantilism RESEARCH TRENDS SEMINAR:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Division of Science Resources Statistics Skilled Migrants in a (Human) Networked World: Beyond Brain Drain and Neuro-mercantilism RESEARCH TRENDS SEMINAR: Research Mobility & Brain Circulation: Scientific and Economic Impacts Washington, DC October 9, 2012 Mark Regets National Science Foundation: Arlington (Affiliation for biographical purposes only)

2 Brain drain: The idea that a geographic political unit is harmed when highly educated workers leave. Neuro-mercantilism: The idea that a geographic political unit benefits when highly educated workers move there. (a pejorative used to link the idea to the economic theory that doomed empires)

3 Some important considerations in thinking about the effects of high-skilled migration: Understanding changes in the way both university and industry R&D is done is key to understanding both the migrations and their effects. While it is useful to analyze national economic effects, ethical issues can arise from a too narrow accounting of benefits and costs. Much of the gain to migration accrues to the migrant (in terms of both economics and human liberty). Many of the effects are global, and not specific to the receiving and sending country.

4 4 National Science Foundation Division of Science Resources Statistics Changes in how S&T is done: 1.Global capacity for science and technology growing rapidly in most part of the world. a)Research much less centralized, U.S. now about 1/3 of world R&D

5 Number of Postsecondary (Tertiary) degree holders: Derived from Barro-Lee estimates of education attainment, 9/4/2011 data release

6 Postsecondary education has increased in all regions, leaving no area with a share of educated workers comparable to the 42% for the U.S. in 1950 Derived from Barro-Lee estimates of education attainment, 9/4/2011 data release

7 The proportion of population earning degrees has increased almost everywhere, including other developed countries. (First University Degrees issued to year old population)

8 Science and engineering degrees have also increased: (First Natural S&E University Degrees issued to year old population)

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12 12 National Science Foundation Division of Science Resources Statistics Changes in how S&T is done: 2. More S&T activity of all types is done across borders a.Teams and collaborations physically located in multiple countries b.Large increases in the migration of researchers and other highly skilled workers

13 R&D Employment by U.S. Multinational Corporations Abroad and by Foreign MNC Affiliates in the United States

14 ENGLISH AS A COMMON LANGUAGE In several countries, the government funding agencies will not accept research proposals in the countrys native language. Many graduate programs are taught in English so that: – Its graduates are not isolated. – It can recruit students with other native languages. English is the work language both at many government funded research institutes and at commercial R&D sites.

15 Country of enrollment for foreign students in tertiary education: 2001 and 2008 SOURCE: IIE Atlas of Student Mobility

16 10 year growth rate in number of foreign students in higher education:

17 Entries into Japan of workers with a type of temporary work visa associated with high skills Source: Japan Statistical Handbook

18 18 Trends in the percent foreign-born in science and engineering occupation in the U.S.:

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20 20 National Science Foundation Division of Science Resources Statistics Multiple Node Knowledge Network Increased and more complex flows of students, workers, and finances Increased regional S&T collaboration and links between regions Global and regional labor markets for some skills Increased importance of individuals with high betweennessthose connecting the nodes

21 Dominant Country: Country doing most R&D is connected to most information flows. Some regional activity, but greater collaboration with dominant country. Very limited collaboration across regions, except in collaborations that include dominant country. Central Node: Dominant Country Two hypothetical cross-national knowledge networks NOT based on actual countries or data: (Size of circle related to size of R&D. Width of lines related to size of knowledge flows) Geographically dispersed R&D capabilities: Country with the most R&D may still be the one best connected to other R&D, but there is much activity to which it has no connection. Growth of knowledge flows and collaborations within and between regions.

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23 23 Sending Countries: Possible Negatives Brain drain: lost productive capacity due to at least temporary absence of workers and students with higher skills Less support for public funding of higher education

24 Percent of foreign-born S&E degree holders with highest degree from foreign institution: 2003

25 Employment in S&E occupations by nativity and level of degree Source: Lowell/Regets tabulations of Census PUMS Rapid increases in foreign-born scientists and engineers has not prevented rapid growth in numbers of U.S.-born

26 26 Receiving Countries: Possible Negatives Decreased incentive of natives to seek higher skills Possibility of displacement of native students from best schools Language and cultural barriers between native and immigrant highly skilled workers Technology transfers to competitors and to possibly hostile countries

27 27 Fixed-effects model estimates of the change in U.S. native S&E graduate enrollment associated with changes in graduate temporary-visa foreign student enrollment An increase of one fulltime foreign student in a S&E graduate department is associated with: fulltime U.S. citizen/perm. minority fulltime U.S. citizen/perm. white full time U.S. citizen/perm. Asian Model: Departmental level fixed effects controlling for department size in the previous period, dummy variables for year, and changes in the enrollment of other groups. Data: NSF Graduate Student Survey,

28 28 Many U.S. citizen grad students are in departments dependent upon foreign students SOURCE: NSF/SRS Survey of Graduate Students and Postdocs (GSS) 2005

29 29 Receiving Countries: Possible Positives Increased R&D and economic activity due to availability of additional highly skilled workers and students. Knowledge flows and collaboration. Increased ties to foreign research institutions. Export opportunities for technology. Increased enrollment in graduate programs, possibly keeping smaller programs alive.

30 30 Sending Countries: Possible Positives Increased incentive for natives to seek higher skills Possibility of exporting skills, which reduces risk and raises expected return of personal education investments Increase in domestic economic return to skills Knowledge flows and collaboration Increased ties to foreign research institutions Export opportunities for technology Return of natives with foreign education and human capital Remittances and other support from diaspora networks

31 Possibility of migration increases incentive to invest in human capital even for those who stay 31 E(H) = P m E f (H) + (1 – P m ) E d (H) where : P m is the subjective individual probability of migration E f is the expected value of human capital H in the foreign labor market E d is the expected value of the same human capital in the domestic labor market

32 32 National Science Foundation Division of Science Resources Statistics SOURCES: Thomson ISI, Science Citation Index and Social Sciences Citation Index, ipIQ, Inc.; National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Survey of Earned Doctorates (1994–98), special tabulations; and National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators, Relationship of foreign-born U.S. S&E doctorate recipients to their country's scientific collaboration with United States: 1994–98 graduates and 1999–2003 articles

33 33 The U.S. does not have many college educated citizens abroad: Top 11 countries with citizens with at least a tertiary-level education residing abroad in other OECD countries (2000) Source: Docquier and Marfouk, International Migration by Educational Attainment ( ), World Bank 33

34 34 Possible Global Effects Better international flow of knowledge between centers of innovation. Better job matches through global job searches conducted by both workers and employers. The best person for a job sometimes has a rare combination of skill sets Increased productivity of research: Where can I do the best work? is at least one question considered by a potential migrant. Net positive effect on incentives for individual human capital investments as a result of international competition for scarce human capital.


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