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Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

The Effect of Incentives on International Mobility

Despite the acknowledged importance of international mobility for science and innovation, there is limited evidence on the effect of incentives and programs supporting it. This projects aims at providing empirical evidence on the effect of international mobility grants on the mobility, performance and career of researchers. Data from the Swiss National Foundation allow us to implement a RDD analysis to assess the causal effect of an international mobility grant program. Awarded applicants are 52 percentage points more likely to be abroad in the first year after the proposed starting year of the grant. This effect extends beyond the duration of the grant but is reduced to 20 percentage points in the fifth year. Over this 5-year period, we find a positive effect on the average impact factor of journals where scientists publish (1.4 higher), as well as on the number of new research collaborations (the percentage of new coauthors is higher by 20 percentage points). We find no significant effect on the number of publications and the probability of obtaining a professorship.

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