NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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The "Global Science" Research Project

Investigators: Chiara Franzoni; Giuseppe Scellato; Paula Stephan .

Sponsors: The "Global Science" project is supported in part by a grant from the Regional Government of the Piedmont Region (Italy) under the Social Science and Humanities program 2009 and from the IPE Program, National Bureau of Economic Research. Stephan acknowledges support from the European Commission (FP7) Project "An Observatorium for Science in Society Based in Social Models - SISOB" Contract no. FP7 266588 and Collegio Carlo Alberto Project "Researcher Mobility and Scientific Performance."

Data Release: A report containing the statistics of the composition of the 16 countries workforce was published in paper and supplementary information by Nature Biotechnology (Suggested citation: Chiara Franzoni, Giuseppe Scellato, Paula Stephan. Foreign Born Scientists: Mobility Patterns for Sixteen Countries. Nature Biotechnology, 30(12):1250-1253, 2012). Release of data to the international scientific community is envisaged in the summer of 2015.

Summary of Results: The data analysis is ongoing. The results currently available are summarized in the following articles and working papers.

Foreign Born Scientists: Mobility Patterns for Sixteen Countries. Offers country-comparable statistics concerning the international composition of the workforce in the 16 countries (e.g. share of foreign-born; share having an experience of work or study abroad; share of natives currently abroad) and reports the stated likelihood of returning if currently working or studying outside one's country of origin. (Suggested citation: Chiara Franzoni, Giuseppe Scellato, Paula Stephan. Foreign Born Scientists: Mobility Patterns for Sixteen Countries. Nature Biotechnology, 30(12):1250-1253, 2012).

Mobile Scientists and International Networks Investigates the international networks established by mobile and non-mobile scientists. Results indicate that mobile scientists are more prone to establish international links, have links with a larger number of countries and exhibit superior performances in international collaborations than natives with no prior experience of mobility. (Suggested citation: Giuseppe Scellato, Chiara Franzoni, Paula Stephan Mobile Scientists and International Networks, NBER Working paper n.18613, December 2012).

The Mover's Advantage: Scientific Performance of Mobile Academics. Compares the scientific performance of mobile and non-mobile academics. Mobile scientists are further separated into foreign-born and returnees, i.e. natives who have been abroad and later returned to work and study in their country of origin. With few exceptions, results indicate the existence of a performance premium for both the foreign-born and the returnees over the non-mobile. (Suggested citation: Chiara Franzoni, Giuseppe Scellato, Paula Stephan. The Mover's Advantage. Scientific Performance of Mobile Academics. NBER Working paper n. 18577, November 2012).

Choice of Country by the Foreign Born for PhD and Postdoctoral Study: A Sixteen-Country Perspective. Shows the choice of location of foreign-PhD students and postdocs and investigates the determinant of location choices. Major findings include that individuals come to the United States to train because of the prestige of its programs and/or career prospects. They are discouraged from training in the United States because of the perceived lifestyle. The availability of exchange programs elsewhere discourages coming for PhD study to the U.S.; the relative unattractiveness of fringe benefits discourages coming for postdoctoral study. (Suggested citation: Paula Stephan, Chiara Franzoni, Giuseppe Scellato, Choice of Country by the Foreign Born for PhD and Postdoctoral Study: A Sixteen-Country Perspective, NBER Working paper n. 18809, February 2013).

Press coverage:
Nature, October 18, 2012
IEEE, September 22, 2012
Times Higher Education, May 24, 2012
Inside Higher Education, May 15, 2012
 
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