Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale

International mobility, diversity and research

About the project

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

Title: Global Science (GlobSci)

Principal Investigator:  Chiara Franzoni

Funders: Regione Piemonte, National Bureau of Economic Research

Duration: 2011 – ongoing

Partners:Politecnico di Torino (Giuseppe Scellato), Georgia State University and NBER (Paula Stephan), KTH (Ali Mohammadi).


  • Chiara Franzoni, Giuseppe Scellato, Paula Stephan (2018). “Context Factors and the Performance of Mobile Individuals in Research Teams”. Journal of Management Studies, 55(1):27-59.
  • Ali Mohammadi, Anders Broström, Chiara Franzoni (2017). “Workforce Composition and Innovation: How Diversity in Employees’ Ethnic and Educational Backgrounds Facilitates Firm-Level Innovativeness”. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 34(4):406-426.
  • Chiara Franzoni, Giuseppe Scellato, Paula Stephan (2014). “The Mover’s Advantage: The Superior Performance of Migrant Scientists”. Economics Letters. 122:89–93.
  • Chiara Franzoni, Giuseppe Scellato, Paula Stephan (2012). “Foreign Born Scientists:  Mobility Patterns for Sixteen Countries”. Nature Biotechnology. 30(12):1250-1253.