Human talents are a highly-mobile workforce. In many countries, special migration policies have been designed to attract foreign talents from abroad. The diversity of backgrounds and views that mobility creates is seen as a force that can foster creativity in science and innovation.
Starting from 2011, we have conducted a series of studies concerning mobility and diversity with an interest in creative performance, networks and impact. A large project, called “GlobSci’, was especially designed to map the international migration of scientists worldwide and its implications. The data collection (19 thousand responses; 4 fields of science; 16 countries) enabled tracing the first map of the international composition of the workforce. Analyses of the data indicated that migrant scientists have broader networks of international collaborations and keep linkages with the origin countries. It showed that migration produces an improvement of performances in those that relocate, with respect to natives that stayed in the origin country. It further showed that multi-cultural teams perform better when the intent is strongly creative, when the migrants have decision power, and when knowledge is clustered geographically.
The complete database is free and openly accessible at: http://nber.org/globsci