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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper

Does Skilled Migration Foster Innovative Performance? Evidence from British Local Areas


What is the effect of an increase in the stock of human capital on the innovative performance of a local economy? This paper tests the hypothesis of a causal link between an increase in the average stock of human capital, due to skilled migration inflows, and the innovative performance of local areas using British data. The paper examines the role of human capital externalities as crucial determinant of local productivity and innovative performance, suggesting that the geographically bound nature of these valuable knowledge externalities can be challenged by the mobility of skilled individuals. Skilled migration becomes a crucial channel of knowledge diffusion broadening the geographical scope of human capital externalities and fostering local innovative performance.


Luisa Gagliardi

18 November 2011     Paper Number SERCDP0097

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This SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper is published under the centre's Urban programme.