Previous work suggests a general uncertainty surrounding the migration process acts as a barrier to outmigration. In this paper, we argue that this barrier is exacerbated when relative economic policy uncertainty is higher in the target country and mitigated when relatively higher in the origin country. We use a novel inventor career panel to observe inventor migration from 12 European countries between 1997 and 2012 and test the premise that a higher relative uncertainty in the origin country raises the probability of inventor outmigration. Our results suggest a 1 standard deviation increase in the relative uncertainty of the home country is associated with a near 20% increase in the probability of inventor outmigration. The relationship is highly non-linear, with relative uncertainty values in the top centile leading to an increase of over 70%. The observed effects can be amplified or dampened by inventor specific characteristics, as would be expected given the prior art.
Bisset, Jordan, Dirk Czarnitzki und Thorsten Doherr (2023), High Skilled Mobility Under Uncertainty, ZEW Discussion Paper Nr. 23-004, Mannheim.