From Where Does Silicon Valley Import Its Brains?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 6/20/2014 02:00:00 AM
There's an excellent infographic over at Businessweek on where its workforce comes from both inside the United States and outside of it. There are some highly interesting results: First, Mexico more than any other country or state provides the most human capital to Silicon Valley. Second, the Philippines is, after Mexico, the second-largest provider of human capital to the area. However, why is it that you rarely hear of startups from folks from those countries? Odd. By contrast, India ranks only ninth in terms of headcount, but it matters rather more in the overall picture since a third of all startups there are headed by Indian entrepreneurs.

When viewing the infographic, I am reminded of the excellent research of AnnaLee Saxenian on the link between migration and technological innovation. Her pioneering work in this area remains Silicon Valley's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs that established the case that anti-immigrant xenophobia ultimately harms the United States' future economic prospects. #7 China and #50 Taiwan are also important in the sense that many Chinese who gain experience working in Silicon Valley often apply their skills once they return. Together with the Indians, they form the backbone of another study of hers on transnational communities and the evolution of global production networks.

Good stuff.