Research Article

R&D spillovers from international student flows: a brics analysis

Matheus Dall’agnol; Diogo Ferraz; Naijela da Costa; Herick Fernando Moralles; Daisy Aparecida do Nascimento Rebelatto

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Abstract: Paper aims: to analyze the international flow of students - both from developed and underdeveloped countries - and to observe their significance for the productivity gains of the country of origin of these students.

Originality: The main contributions to the literature are the understanding of how student flows affect countries' economic growth, as well as to verify the systematic differences between the contribution of international student flows to economic growth between developed and underdeveloped countries.

Research method: This empirical study performed using a data set of 87 countries, during 2001-2012 yields results that are in accordance with previous literature, supporting the hypothesis of international student flows as a significant channel of R&D spillovers from developed countries. The paper used econometric models already tested by previous studies.

Main findings: The results show that BRICS countries may benefit more than other countries from such internationalization initiatives.

Implications for theory and practice: The mobility of international students is currently an important political issue in the world. These formal or informal links between agents from diverse countries result in an exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge potentially generating new business opportunities for developing economies.


Productivity, Developed countries, Underdeveloped countries, Economic growth


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