Social capital and research productivity of foreign-born scientists in the United States
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Professional social capital of foreign-born scientists and its implications for their scientific performance is researched. The theoretical framework is based on the network theory of social capital and the scientific and technical human capital model extending it with knowledge from the immigration literature pertaining to the differential social capital of immigrants. Major focus is on the network sizes, relational properties, and geographic locations of professional social capital of foreign- and US-born scientists. Netwise II survey data on 760 foreign-born and 963 US-born scientists are used and quantitative measures of scientists' social capital, demographic and professional attributes, and research outputs are constructed. Statistical comparison of means and multivariate regressions are used to verify the differences between populations and to test hypotheses. Results indicated significant differences between professional social capitals of foreign- and US-born scientists suggesting insufficient social integration. Potential mechanisms for mitigating the social capital shortages and role of foreign social capital are discussed. Implications for academic, immigration, and diaspora policies of the US and sending countries are provided.