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Journal Article

Money to Move: The Effect on Researchers of an International Mobility Grant


Baruffaldi,  Stefano Horst
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Baruffaldi, S. H., Marino, M., & Visentin, F. (2020). Money to Move: The Effect on Researchers of an International Mobility Grant. Research Policy, 49(8): 104077. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2020.104077.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-ACAB-7
We examine the impact of a grant program promoting international mobility on researchers’ scientific outcomes and careers. To provide causal evidence, we exploit unique data from the Swiss National Foundation and implement a Regression Discontinuity Design analysis. We find that the grant effectively supports periods of research abroad that often extend beyond the duration of the grant, without increasing the probability of permanent migration. Awarded researchers increase their output quality, although the effect on output quantity and careers is not significant. Additional evidence suggests that financing international mobility likely affects output quality by reducing the cost of exploring new collaboration opportunities and research topics: awarded applicants are more likely to collaborate with new coauthors of higher, on average, scientific quality and rely less on their previous own research results. Moreover, the grants mainly benefit researchers receiving a mobility grant for the first time.