Megan MacGarvie: How Important is U.S. Location for Research in Science?

This paper asks whether scientists located outside the U.S. are at a disadvantage when it comes to [...]research productivity. We make use of a dataset of foreign-born U.S.-educated scientists that allows us to exploit exogenous variation in post-Ph.D. location induced by visa status. We thus are able to compare students who were required by law to leave the U.S. after the completion of their doctoral studies with similar students who were allowed to remain in the U.S. We assess whether students who left the U.S. have more or fewer publications and/or citations when compared to a control student with the same advisor. Instrumenting for location using visa status and accounting for the current country's real GDP per capita, we find that the negative relationship between non-U.S. location and research output is present and large for countries with low income per capita but completely eliminated when the researcher is located in a country at or above the 90th percentile of GDP per capita. This suggests that a scientist exogenously located in a country at the top of the income distribution can expect to be as productive in research as he or she would be in the U.S.

Tags: faculty, boston university, research, School of Management, faculty research day

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