Blog Post

Brain drain, gain, or circulation?

Over the long-term (pre-crisis) period analysed, Spain and the UK seemed the best placed at attracting high-quality scientists. France and Germany were broadly breaking even in terms of quality, although we note that they were facing significant net outflows of scientists, as was the UK.

By: Date: November 25, 2014 Innovation & Competition Policy Tags & Topics

Source: OECD, own calculations

For each author and mobility profile, the median across the relevant journals’ Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) over the entire period is calculated. A SNIP impact value that is higher than one means that the median attributed SNIP for authors of that country/category is above average.

International mobility of scientific researchers is inferred from authors listed in the Scopus Custom database of peer-reviewed scientific publications, with at least two documents during the reference period, based on changes in the location of their institutional affiliation. Outflows are defined on the basis of their first affiliation. Inflows are defined on the basis of the final affiliation and exclude individual authors who “return” to their original country of affiliation.

This chart benchmarks the median quality1 of scientists leaving or moving (for the first time) to a country between 1996-2011. The size of the bubble corresponds to total flows (inflows plus outflows). Countries in red are net contributors to the international market for scientists, those in blue net recipients2.

Ideally, a country should want to be below or on the 45-degree line, indicating that the quality of the newcomers is just as high (or higher) as that of the leavers. Conditional on this, a country should also prefer a larger rather than smaller bubble, representing a sizeable flow of scientists and indicating a full exploitation of synergies gained from international cooperation. Finally, countries should aim to land in the top-right quadrant, indicating higher quality of both incoming and outgoing researchers.

Over the long-term (pre-crisis) period analysed, Spain and the UK seemed the best placed at attracting high-quality scientists. France and Germany were broadly breaking even in terms of quality, although we note that they were facing significant net outflows of scientists, as was the UK.

All in all, in the sample here presented, while the US (unsurprisingly) comes out as the top performer in terms of net inflow of quality researchers, Italy ranks quite poorly. Not only the country is a net contributor of scientists, it also trades high quality researchers for lower quality ones. Time for a reform of the university system?


Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Anyone is free to republish and/or quote this post without prior consent. Please provide a full reference, clearly stating Bruegel and the relevant author as the source, and include a prominent hyperlink to the original post.

View comments
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Pathological microbes are increasingly resistant to antimicrobial treatments. The resulting health crisis is one of the greatest challenges facing society. At this event, Jim O'Neill will present the Independent Review on Antimicrobial Resistance and a panel will discuss how to tackle drug resistance.

Speakers: James Anderson, Sally Davies, Charles Knirsch, Jim O‘Neill, Xavier Prats Monné and Karen E. Wilson Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 14, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Policies for digital innovation

We were pleased to welcome Paul Misener, Vice President of Global Public Policy at Amazon.com, to discuss innovation and regulation.

Speakers: Eva Chamizo, Paul Misener, Stephan Raes and Reinhilde Veugelers Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 11, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

IMG_20151119_103626

Brexit and competition policy in Europe

If the UK leaves the EU without any agreement in place, this could change the way that competition law is applied. It could also make antitrust cases more costly and competition policy instruments less effective.

By: Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 6, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

The role of market definition in a globalised economy

Have competition authorities kept up with globalisation? Geographic market definition is one of the most pressing issues.

Speakers: Raphaël de Coninck, Giulio Federico, Amelia Fletcher, Hans W. Friederiszick, Bruce Lyons, J. Scott Marcus and Volker Stapper Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 30, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Scott Marcus

Mobile roaming, Brexit, and unintended consequences

The intermediate and long-term consequences of the UK “Brexit” referendum of 23 June 2016 are numerous and far-reaching. There has been much discussion of the impact on financial services, but very little to date on the likely implications for telecommunications regulation.

By: J. Scott Marcus Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: June 28, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Jérémie Cohen-Setton

The breakdown of productivity diffusion

The OECD has been pushing the idea that the productivity slowdown is not so much due to a lack of innovation but rather due to a lack of innovation diffusion between firms.

By: Jérémie Cohen-Setton Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: June 27, 2016
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Working Paper

WP 03 2016

Challenging prospects for roam like at home

In 2015 the European Union adopted new rules seeking to implement a roam like at home regime for member states. This Working Paper highlights challenges in implementing roam like at home, and it provides insights on the economics of international mobile roaming.

By: Georgios Petropoulos and J. Scott Marcus Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: June 15, 2016
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

External Publication

screenshot-bruegel.org 2016-06-09 14-39-02

Bias against novelty in science: a cautionary tale for users of bibliometric indicators

Research which explores unchartered waters has a high potential for major impact but also carries a higher uncertainty of having impact. Such explorative research is often described as taking a novel approach. This study examines the complex relationship between pursuing a novel approach and impact.

By: Paula Stephan, Reinhilde Veugelers and Jian Wang Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: June 9, 2016
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Scott Marcus

New EU net neutrality guidelines are a pragmatic next step

The new guidelines issued on the implementation of European net neutrality rules by national regulators are sensible and pragmatic.

By: J. Scott Marcus Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: June 8, 2016
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Internet taxation: challenges and policy recommendations

As the economy moves online, it becomes more difficult for national tax authorities to collect revenue. How great is the impact, and what should corporate taxation look like in the digital age?

Speakers: Francis Bloch, Caroline Edery, Dmitri Jegorov, Helena Kiurusalmi, J. Scott Marcus and Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 7, 2016
Read about event

Past Event

Past Event

State Aid evaluation: two years of implementation

This event discussed the evaluation of state aid and how it can contribute to better policy-making.

Speakers: Gert-Jan Koopman, Pantelis Koutroumpis, Nicola Pesaresi, Theo Roelandt, Otto Toivanen, Reinhilde Veugelers and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate, Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 30, 2016
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Scott Marcus
IMG_20151119_103626

European e-commerce needs better visibility into cross-border delivery prices

Consumers, retail shippers, and European and national regulatory authorities could benefit from enhanced visibility into the price of shipping goods across borders in Europe.

By: J. Scott Marcus and Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: May 25, 2016
Load more posts