Flight of the Innovative Class: Mobility, Retention and Productivity of Life Scientists in the U.S.

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Scientific and technological innovations by highly skilled scientists and inventors are critical to the long-term economic health of U.S. To examine their mobility and retention in the U.S., we trace and analyze location information for 5809 genomics life scientists from 1983 to 2009. We find that the proportion of genomics scientists residing in the U.S. has decreased substantially since the late-1990s. This contrasts with the sharp increase in the BRIC countries, particularly China and India, and non-US OECD countries. The overall decline is driven largely by the decreasing proportion of university scientists in the U.S. Innovative productivity growth of U.S. public sector scientists has also slowed down. These findings could suggest a major reversal in the ability of the U.S. to attract and retain scientists.


Human Resources Management

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation


Strategic Management Society Special Conference: Globalization of Innovation Strategies, Singapore, 7-9 June 201

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