The diffusion of tacit knowledge involves direct human interactions. This implies that the international diffusion of knowledge should follow the pattern of international migration. We test this idea using cross-country productivity spillovers leading to new exports as proxy for knowledge diffusion. We find that a 10% increase in immigration from exporters of a given product is associated with a 2% increase in the likelihood that the host country starts exporting that good ‘from scratch’ in the next decade. The results appear stronger for highly-skilled migrants, qualitatively similar for emigrants and robust to instrumenting for migration in a gravity framework.
|State||Published - Jul 2018|
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