Internal versus international scholarly mobility and migration worldwide

The 22nd  RISIS Research Seminar will take place on 14th December from 12.30 to 2.00 pm (CET)  and will focus on a presentation entitled Internal versus international scholarly mobility
and migration worldwide 
by Aliakbar Akbaritabar, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany. Chiara Franzoni, PoliMi is involved as a discussant.


An increasing number of literature focus on scholarly mobility among countries worldwide. Many studies look at specific national cases. But, contrasting the movement of scholars “within” sub-national regions of countries versus “between” the national borders is understudied.


The researchers re-purposed large-scale bibliometric data on more than 30 million “article” and “review” publications from Scopus in 1996 to 2020 and geo-coded the affiliation addresses.The researchers prepared the first global database of migration of scholars at the level of internal migration within countries, and at the level of international migration. It enables to study the connection between international migration from specific sub-regions within a country. The results show that looking at sub-national regions instead of countries, doubles the share of mobile scholars from 8% to 16%. Some sub-national regions are attractive destinations for international and some for national mobility.


The study shows examples worldwide, from  USA, Germany, France, Canada and Italy. The researchers further highlight the role that scientific collaborations play in facilitating future scholarly mobility. Scholars form ties before or during their mobility events and some of these ties persist and facilitate future moves. The study, finally, opens the debate on the implications of the results on the global circulation of talent and high-skilled mobility.