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On the Robustness of Brain Gain Estimates

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  • Michel BEINE
  • Frédéric DOCQUIER
  • Hillel RAPOPORT

Abstract

Recent theoretical studies suggest that migration prospects can raise the expected return to human capital and thus foster education investment at home or, in other words, induce a brain gain. In a recent paper we used the DOCQUIER and MARFOUK [2006] data set on emigration rates by education level to examine the impact of brain drain migration on gross (pre-migration) human capital formation in developing countries. We found a positive effect of skilled migration prospects on human capital growth in a cross-section of 127 developing countries, with a short-run elasticity of about 5 percent. In this paper we assess the robustness of our results to the use of alternative brain drain measures, definitions of human capital, and functional forms. We find that the results hold using alternative brain drain measures controlling for whether migrants acquired their skills in the home or in the host country. We also regress other indicators of human capital investment on skilled migration rates and find a positive effect on youth literacy while the effect on school enrolment depends on the exact functional form specification chosen. Finally, we find our results to be robust to using the ratio of skilled to unskilled migration rates (instead of just the former) and to controlling for the demographic structure of the population.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ENSAE in its journal Annals of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): 97-98 ()
Pages: 143-165

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Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:97-98:p:07

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  1. Oded Stark & Christian Helmenstein & Alexia Prskawetz, 1998. "Human Capital Depletion, Human Capital Formation, and Migration: A Blessing in a "Curse"?," Departmental Working Papers, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics _096, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  2. Peter J. Klenow & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2004. "Externalities and Growth," NBER Working Papers 11009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
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  5. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series, Institute for Advanced Studies 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  6. Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Skilled Migration: The Perspective of Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2873, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers, International Monetary Fund 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Measuring International Skilled Migration: A New Database Controlling for Age of Entry," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 249-254, June.
  9. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  10. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  11. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 43-57, January.
  12. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Ethnic Discrimination and the Migration of Skilled Labor," Working Papers, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics 2001-19, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  13. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
  14. Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 1999. "Fuite des cerveaux et formation de capital humain," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, CEPII research center, issue 79, pages 63-72.
  15. Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, 04.
  16. Faini, Riccardo, 2003. "Is the Brain Drain an Unmitigated Blessing?," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  17. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "Transfers, social safety nets and economic growth," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 139, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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  21. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995. "Stabilization Policy, Learning by Doing, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 1130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Docquier, Frederic & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2011. "Emigration and democracy," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 5557, The World Bank.
  2. Di Maria, Corrado & Lazarova, Emiliya A., 2012. "Migration, Human Capital Formation, and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 938-955.
  3. Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Globalization, brain drain and development," CReAM Discussion Paper Series, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London 1108, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Antwi, James & Phillips, David C., 2013. "Wages and health worker retention: Evidence from public sector wage reforms in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 101-115.
  5. Yao Pan, 2012. "The Effect of Labor Mobility Restrictions on Human Capital Accumulation in China," Working Papers, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy 2012-5, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  6. Berlinschi, Ruxanda & Schokkaert, Jeroen & Swinnen, Johan, 2013. "When drains and gains coincide: Migration and international football performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 1-14.
  7. Mountford, Andrew & Rapoport, Hillel, 2011. "The brain drain and the world distribution of income," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 4-17, May.
  8. Driouchi, Ahmed & Kadiri, Molk, 2010. "Emigration of Skilled Labor under Risk Aversion: The Case of Medical Doctors from Middle Eastern and North African Economies," MPRA Paper 22810, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 May 2010.

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