Journal of Geographical Systems

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 533–556 | Cite as

Naturalization and the productivity of foreign-born doctorates

  • Daniel CrownEmail author
  • Alessandra Faggian
Original Ariticle


This paper estimates the effect of obtaining US citizenship on individual-level measures of productivity for foreign-born doctoral recipients from US universities. Becoming a US citizen results in the removal of barriers such as access to public sector occupations and to some sources of government-sponsored research funding which are hypothesized to increase the productivity of foreign-born scientists. We utilize panel data from the Survey of Doctoral Recipients from 1993 to 2013 and individual fixed effects models to control for selection bias in the naturalization decision. Our results indicate that becoming a naturalized citizen increases wages and several measures of academic productivity. In support of our argument, we find that foreign-born workers who naturalize are more likely to utilize research funding from a government agency, but not more likely to work for the government post-naturalization.


Skilled immigration Citizenship Labor economics 

JEL Classification

J61 J45 J24 J10 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AEDE DepartmentThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Gran Sasso Science InstituteL’AquilaItaly

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