Talent on the move. Essays on human capital, graduate mobility and economic development

Simone Sasso, UNU-MERIT

Due to the knowledge and skills that graduates bring with them, their interregional and international mobility can have substantial effects on their economies of origin and destination. This thesis aims to broaden the understanding of how human capital and graduates’ geographical mobility affects their individual careers, as well as, the firms, scientific systems, and countries in which they work. It combines microeconomic and macroeconomic perspectives and applies a broad array of econometric and social network analysis techniques to a variety of large datasets. First, the thesis investigates the relationship between human capital, R&D, and productivity across different economies and industries. Second, it analyses whether interregional graduate mobility as well as educational and cultural diversity among employees in a firm have a positive effect on productivity. Subsequently, it studies how the interregional mobility of graduates affects their chances of having a job in line with their qualifications. Finally, it investigates the role of geographical mobility for scientific upgrading by analysing the impact of the international mobility of PhD holders on local and global scientific collaborations and on the individual careers of the researchers. The results indicate that the potential benefits that graduate mobility can bring are substantial (even if oftentimes not wholly realized) and confirm the importance of maintaining a multi-level perspective in future research.

Human capital; productivity; skilled migration; interregional mobility; international mobility; education-job match; research collaboration.

Venue: Aula, Minderbroedersberg 4-6, Maastricht

Date: 29 May 2018

Time: 16:00 - 17:30  CEST