NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
Department of Economics
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2015||Ethnic Complementarities after the Opening of China: How Chinese Graduate Students Affected the Productivity of Their Advisors|
with George J. Borjas, Kirk B. Doran: w21096
The largest and most important flow of scientific talent in the world is the migration of international students to the doctoral programs offered by universities in industrialized countries. This paper uses the opening of China in 1978 to estimate the causal effect of this flow on the productivity of their professors in mathematics departments across the United States. Our identification strategy relies on both the suddenness of the opening of China and on a key feature of scientific production: intra-ethnic collaboration. The new Chinese students were more likely to be mentored by American professors with Chinese heritage. The increased access that the Chinese-American advisors had to a new pool of considerable talent led to a substantial increase in their productivity. Despite these siza...