Tuesday, September 09, 2014

No Innovation Without Migration: ‘Most Migrants Only Proceed a Short Distance, and Toward Centers of Absorption’

Looks like agglomeration, but short distance migration drives innovation at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Innovation geography

Subject Article: "Job Hopping, Information Technology Spillovers, and Productivity Growth."

Other Links: 1. "Ernest George Ravenstein: The Laws of Migration, 1885."
2. "Local and Global Networks of Immigrant Professionals in Silicon Valley."
3. "No Innovation Without Migration."
4. "Triumph of the Entrepreneurial City."
5. "No Innovation Without Migration: Breaking Convention."
6. "Silicon Valley fights order to pay bigger settlement in hiring case."
7. "Your Knowledge Is Nothing If No One Else Knows You Know It."

Postscript: The introduction of the subject article makes the point better than the passage I quoted in the blog post:

Because the mobility of these skilled technical workers tends to be local, geographic location may play a particularly important role in determining access to the specialized skills and know-how required for the installation of these new technologies, and may partly explain why firms locate in high-tech clusters despite facing higher factor costs for other inputs, such as land and labor (Saxenian, 1996). The primary goal of this study is to test the hypothesis that firms benefit from the IT investments of other firms through the skill content of the IT labor pool because the flow of specialized technical know-how among organizations facilitates the implementation of new IT innovations. Although a substantial literature has focused on estimating the impact of R&D spillovers, there has been little empirical work on IT spillovers, and no work on IT spillovers generated through the IT labor pool.

Mind you, this forthcoming publication is dated January 2013. So we forge ahead with innovation districts regardless of how little empirical research has been done on the matter. Instead, we give the benefit of the doubt to theorists such as Jane Jacobs. That's a lousy foundation for policy and wholly ignorant of legitimate competing explanations with actual empirical analysis.

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