This paper investigates the impact of migration on innovation networks between regions and foreign countries. It posits that immigrants (emigrants) act as a transnational knowledge bridge between the host (home) regions and their origin (destination) countries, thus facilitating their co-inventorship networks. It also argues that the social capital of both the hosting and the moving communities reinforces such a bridging role, along with language commonality and migrants’ human capital. Focusing on Spain, as a country that hosted an intense process of migration over the past two decades, patent data are combined with national data on residents and electors abroad and a gravity model is applied to the coinventorship between Spanish provinces (NUTS-3 regions) and a number of foreign countries. Both immigrants and emigrants affect the kind of innovation networking at stake. The social capital of both the moving and the hosting communities actually moderates this impact positively. The effect of migration is stronger for more skilled migrants and with respect to non-Spanish-speaking countries, pointing to a language-bridging role of migrants. Policy implications are drawn accordingly.

Migration, communities on the move and international innovation networks: an empirical analysis of Spanish regions

Montresor, Sandro;
2018

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of migration on innovation networks between regions and foreign countries. It posits that immigrants (emigrants) act as a transnational knowledge bridge between the host (home) regions and their origin (destination) countries, thus facilitating their co-inventorship networks. It also argues that the social capital of both the hosting and the moving communities reinforces such a bridging role, along with language commonality and migrants’ human capital. Focusing on Spain, as a country that hosted an intense process of migration over the past two decades, patent data are combined with national data on residents and electors abroad and a gravity model is applied to the coinventorship between Spanish provinces (NUTS-3 regions) and a number of foreign countries. Both immigrants and emigrants affect the kind of innovation networking at stake. The social capital of both the moving and the hosting communities actually moderates this impact positively. The effect of migration is stronger for more skilled migrants and with respect to non-Spanish-speaking countries, pointing to a language-bridging role of migrants. Policy implications are drawn accordingly.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11387/128990
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