NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Immigration, International Collaboration, and Innovation: Science and Technology Policy in the Global Economy

Richard B. Freeman

NBER Working Paper No. 20521
Issued in September 2014
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Globalization of scientific and technological knowledge has reduced the US share of world scientific activity; increased the foreign-born proportion of scientists and engineers in US universities and in the US labor market; and led to greater US scientific collaborations with other countries. China's massive investments in university education and R&D has in particular made it a special partner for the US in scientific work. These developments have substantial implications for US science and technology policy. This paper discusses several policies that U.S. policy makers might consider in responding to the changing global world of science and technology. These include aligning immigration policies more closely to the influx of international students; granting fellowships to students working on turning scientific and technological advances into commercial innovations; and requiring firms with R&D tax credits or other government R&D funding to develop "impact plans" to use their new knowledge to produce innovative products or processes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20521

Published: Immigration, International Collaboration, and Innovation: Science and Technology Policy in the Global Economy, Richard B. Freeman. in Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 15, Kerr, Lerner, and Stern. 2015

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