August 2019

IZA DP No. 12533: Migration, Innovation, and Growth: An African Story?

This chapter brings new evidence on the relationship between short-term labour mobility, as proxied by tourism flows, and innovation in Africa. Using data from 34 African countries over the period 2011-2016 sourced from the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey, we find that short–term mobility positively contributes to innovation, making this a potentially effective channel for economic development alongside established determinants such as investments in R&D, foreign direct investments, and trade. Short-term labour mobility thus emerges in Africa, too, as a prospective policy lever to generate new productive knowledge and promote sustainable economic growth.