TIM-troduction: Caroline Fry
Let us introduce Caroline Fry of University of Hawaii, which is located on a beautiful island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Caroline, you recently won were runner up for an award at the 2021 Annual Meeting - congratulations! So…
What are your research interests right now?
I study how individuals overcome institutional barriers to drive innovation in emerging economies. Much of my research focuses on the role of social networks in the careers of scientists in the context of sub-Saharan African countries. Social networks can facilitate the movement of resources, skills and social capital from more developed to developing countries and I investigate when this can help propel innovation in developing countries and what kinds of trade-offs exist for actors in developing countries who chose to leverage global networks.
What do you think is your most exciting contribution to academia?
I think that my most exciting contribution to academia is highlighting an under-studied phenomenon — scientists in emerging economies — and their role in global innovation.
At the 2021 Conference you were runner up to an award from TIM. Tell us about the paper and why you think its findings are important.
In this paper I investigate the spill-over impact of scientists returning home from training in the United States to African institutions. I document that non-migrants working in institutions receiving a returning scientist experience a large increase in productivity, driven by an increase in connectivity to American based scientists. This effect is strongest for those scientists in Africa who didn’t already have a central connection. The findings from the paper can inform migration policy: the fact that the spillovers from migrating individuals are large should be considered in any cost/benefit calculations of migration.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I moved to Hawai’i after my PhD to enjoy the outdoors and an endless summer and it has not disappointed!
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