Panel Paper: When International Mobility Meets Local Connections: Evidence from China

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

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Feng Li, Hohai University and Li Tang, Fudan University

Transnational academic mobility has long been championed as positive and worthy of supporting. Yet little attention has been paid to its joint impact with local connections on the career advancement of established scholars. Utilizing novel curriculum vitae data of 1447 Chang Jiang Scholars, we examine the relationship between academic mobility and the speed of obtaining prestigious academic titles. Our results suggest that local connections accelerate the career development of Chinese scholars whilst international academic mobility has a negligible effect or even slows down the speed of late-phase career advancement. Returnee scholars tend to obtain national academic titles within a longer time period compared to their local counterparts. This penalty of international academic mobility also holds for returnees with only overseas PhD training experience and international research visits. Local scientists are more likely than their returnee peers with equivalent ties to have a quicker career trajectory. Policy implications are discussed in the end.