Panel Paper: The Case of Reverse Brain Drain: Why Do Foreign-Born Ph.D. Recipients Leave the U.S.?

Friday, November 9, 2018
8229 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

John David Selby1, Stuart Bretschneider2 and Elizabeth Corley1, (1)Arizona State University, (2)Syracuse University

Over the past 30 years, more Ph.D. graduates from US universities have come from abroad. Many of these individuals are temporary visa holders. Until recently, little has been known about temporary visa holders tendencies to return home. Between 2008 and 2013 the National Science Foundation (NSF) began a process of surveying Ph.D. graduates from US universities that live abroad. Known as the International Survey of Doctoral Recipients (ISDR), this new data source provides a basis to understand the phenomena of international Ph.D. graduates from U.S. universities returning to their home countries. This paper uses data from the ISDR and its domestic counterpart, Survey of Doctoral Recipients (SDR), to model the probability such individuals will return home. Our theoretical framework identifies four categories of relevant variables: economic factors (e.g. wage and job type), factor related to connectedness with their home country (e.g. earlier higher education degrees and country effects), measures of embeddedness within professional research networks (e.g. research quality of degree program and nature of degree funding), and policy related variables. In particular, we are interested in the extent to which foreign countries make returning home more attractive by increasing their science infrastructure.

Full Paper: