Research seminar "International Knowledge and the Administrative Barriers to Mobility"

2016-11-11 20:15:28

Dear students, faculty and staff, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business invites you to Research Seminar “INTERNATIONAL KNOWLEDGE FLOWS AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE BARRIERS TO MOBILITY” by Sultan Orazbayev

WHEN: Monday, November 14th, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

WHERE: Block C-3/new GSB/GSPP Building, 3rd floor, Room 3038

Seminar Announcement (1) (1) (1)


The literature on diffusion of knowledge has shown positive influence of physical and cultural proximity, common language  and contiguity on the speed and magnitude of international knowledge flows. Knowledge diffusion is also facilitated by  co-location, even temporary one, which helps researchers form personal ties and exchange tacit information through  face-to-face con-tact. However, the ability of researchers to disseminate the results of their work, especially recent or  on-going research, through temporary co-location (including international conferences, workshops and seminars) will be af- fected by the administrative barriers to mobility (‘paper walls’), for example travel visas. This paper uses a gravity-style  empirical model to examine the link between the administrative barriers to mobility of the skilled workers (and students)  and the magnitude/direction of international knowledge flows between 45 countries from 1990 to 2014. Additional calculations  use information on travel visa requirements between 134 countries in year 2004. The results suggest that higher administrative barriers to mobility between countries are associated with reduced bilateral knowledge flows, especially of recent knowledge,  and this negative effect can persist for about 9 years. The persistent effect of ‘paper walls’ is asymmetric and a country’s ability to import knowledge is affected more by the administrative barriers of the knowledge-exporting country, suggesting that co-location plays an important role for successful transfer of knowledge.   


Sultan Orazbayev earned degrees in economics from UCL, LSE and Simon Fraser University. Sultan joined UCL in 2010 as a Teaching Fellow to teach Economics course on the UPC program. Before joining UCL, Sultan has worked as an economist, conducting applied  macroeconomic research and policy analysis. Sultan has taught at universities in the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan and Canada.  His broad research interests are social networks, migration, and growth.