The TKC team has recently attended the NBER workshop on “The Role of Immigrants and Foreign Students in Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship”, held at Boston, April 27, 2018. The goals of the workshop were to stimulate and share academic research on high-skilled immigration and the STEM labor force, to synthesize and disseminate this research to the policy and business communities, and to engage in dialogue with these communities to inform researchers about unanswered questions.
In there we have presented our recent work on high-skilled return migrants. Based on an original dataset linking patent data and biographical information for a large sample of US immigrant inventors of Indian origin, specialized in ICT technologies, we investigate the rate and determinants of return migration. For each individual in the dataset, we both estimate the year of entry in the United States, the likely entry channel (work or education), and the permanence spell up to either the return to India or right truncation. By means of survival analysis, we then provide exploratory estimates of the probability of return migration as a function of the conditions at migration (age, education, patenting record, migration motives, and migration cohort) as well as of some activities undertaken while abroad (education and patenting). We find both evidence of negative self-selection with respect to educational achievements while in the US and of positive self-selection with respect to patenting propensity. Based on the analysis of time-dependence of the return hazard ratios, return work migrants appear to be negatively self-selected with respect to unobservable skills acquired in the US, while evidence for education migrants is less conclusive.