Discussion paper

DP18117 International Mobility of Academics: Theory and Evidence

The labour force in the university sector of many countries is extremely international. I propose a theoretical model to study cross border academic mobility, where academics bargain with institutions over pay and choose the countries where they live and work to maximise their lifetime utility. I then test the model on a subset of well over 900,000 research active academics over 33 years. The model predicts academics to respond to short term conditions, such as those caused by changes in their own record and exchange rate fluctuations, with the decision to move of more eminent academics being less influenced by short-term exchange rate fluctuations, but more by changes in their record. These conclusions are confirmed by the empirical analysis.


De Fraja, G (2023), ‘DP18117 International Mobility of Academics: Theory and Evidence‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18117. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18117