Scholarly migration within Mexico: analyzing internal migration among researchers using Scopus longitudinal bibliometric data

Miranda-González, A., Aref, S., Theile, T., Zagheni, E.
arXiv e-prints 2004.06539
22 pages.
submitted on: 14 April 2020 (2020), submitted
Open Access


Migration of scholars is a major driver of innovation and diffusion of knowledge. Although large-scale bibliometric data have been used to measure international migration of scholars, our understanding of internal migration among researchers is very limited. This is partly due to lack of data aggregated at a suitable sub-national level. In this study, we analyze internal migration in Mexico based on over 1.1 million authorship records from the Scopus database. We trace movements of scholars between Mexican states and provide key demographic measures of internal migration for the period 1996-2018. From a methodological perspective, we develop a new framework for enhancing data quality, inferring states from affiliations, and detecting moves from modal states for the purposes of studying internal migration between researchers. Substantively, we combine demographic and network science techniques to improve our understanding of internal migration patterns country boundaries. Migration patterns between states in Mexico appear to be heterogeneous in size and direction across regions. However, while many scholars remain in their regions, there seems to be a preference for Mexico City and the surrounding states as a destination. Over the past two decades, we observed a general decreasing trend in the crude migration intensity. However, the migration network has become more dense, and more diverse, including greater exchange between states along the Gulf and the Pacific Coast. Our analysis, which is mostly empirical in nature, sets the foundations for testing and developing theories that can rely on the analytical framework developed by migration scholars and the richness of appropriately processed bibliometric data.

Keywords: Mexico, brain drain, circular migration, computational demography, computational social science, digital demography, information sciences, internal migration, labor mobility, libraries, library science, network science, urban network
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.