Artificial Intelligence, Education, and Entrepreneurship

Michael Gofman*, Zhao Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We document an unprecedented brain drain of Artificial Intelligence (AI) professors from universities from 2004 to 2018. We find that students from the affected universities establish fewer AI startups and raise less funding. The brain-drain effect is significant for tenured professors, professors from top universities, and deep-learning professors. Additional evidence suggests that unobserved city- and university-level shocks are unlikely to drive our results. We consider several economic channels for the findings. The most consistent explanation is that professors' departures reduce startup founders' AI knowledge, which we find is an important factor for successful startup formation and fundraising.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)631-667
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Finance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. The Journal of Finance published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Finance Association.


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