Cognitive Mobility: Labor Market Responses to Supply Shocks in the Space of Ideas
Knowledge producers conducting research on a particular set of questions may respond to supply and demand shocks by shifting resources to a different set of questions. Cognitive mobility measures the transition from one location to another in idea space. We examine the cognitive mobility flows unleashed by the influx of Soviet mathematicians into the United States after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The data reveal that American mathematicians moved away from fields that received large numbers of Soviet émigrés. Diminishing returns in specific research areas, rather than beneficial human capital spillovers, dominated the cognitive mobility decisions of knowledge producers.
We are grateful to Patrick Ion, Graeme Fairweather, Norm Richert, and Erol Ozil from the American Mathematical Society for extensive collaboration and support in preparing the data. The authors are grateful to the Upjohn Institute, the Kauffman Foundation, and the Sloan Foundation for their financial assistance. The findings reported in this paper did not result from a for-pay consulting relationship. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
- American mathematicians ... 'reallocated themselves in idea space' in response to an influx of Soviet mathematicians to the United States...
George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2015. "Cognitive Mobility: Labor Market Responses to Supply Shocks in the Space of Ideas," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(S1), pages S109 - S145. citation courtesy of
Cognitive Mobility: Labor Market Responses to Supply Shocks in the Space of Ideas, George J. Borjas, Kirk B. Doran. in US High-Skilled Immigration in the Global Economy, Turner and Kerr. 2015