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Title: Essays on migration and social networks
Author: Orazbayev, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 6122
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the role of social networks and social interactions in three different contexts: out-migration, academic collaborations and international diffusion of knowledge. The analysis is presented in three self-contained essays. The second chapter (joint work) contains analysis of factors influencing the intention to out-migrate, with a distinction between intention to migrate locally (within a country) and internationally. We consider a broad range of factors, including variables of traditional interest to economists, such as wealth/income of an individual and their education, but also other variables, such as the satisfaction with local and country-level amenities, and, most importantly, measures of social networks at their current location and abroad. We find that social networks play an important role in explaining migration intentions, especially for international migration intention. In the third chapter, the role of social networks in providing access to nonredundant information/resources is explored using micro-level data on 35 thousand academic economists. The collaboration network of economists is used to examine how access to non-redundant information affects the quality of joint academic work. This approach can explain a number of 'diversity premia' observed in the literature, for example the international collaboration premium disappears once the co-authors' access to non-redundant information is taken into account. The concluding chapter explores the importance of social interactions for international diffusion of knowledge. Specifically, the information on the administrative barriers to mobility (e.g. travel visas) is used to estimate how the increased costs of face-to-face contact affect the diffusion of knowledge. The results of an empirical, gravity-style analysis show that reduced mobility of researchers has a significant negative impact on the bilateral country-level knowledge flows. The estimated effect of an administrative barrier is twice as strong for the flows of recent knowledge. The effect is persistent, lasting for up to 7-8 years, suggesting that 'paper walls' can play a significant role in medium-term development of domestic scientific potential.
Supervisor: Manchin, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available