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Brainy Africans to Fortress Europe: For Money or Colonial Vestiges?

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  • Amelie F. Constant
  • Bienvenue N. Tien

Abstract

Economic reasons along with cultural affinities and the existence of networks have been the main determinants explaining migration flows between home and host countries. This paper reconsiders these approaches combined with the gravity model and empirically tests the hypothesis that ex-colonial links can still play an important role in the emigration decision. We employ a general linear mixed model, and apply it to the case of skilled, educated and talented Africans, who migrate to Fortress Europe over the period of 1990 to 2001. While we find some differences in the exodus of skilled Africans by sub-regions, the magnitude of the colonial vestige in Africa is a significant determinant of emigration flows. Overall, Portugal is preferred to the UK which is preferred more than Belgium, Germany and Italy. Brainy Africans are, however, indifferent between the UK, France and Spain as a destination country. Established immigrant networks and higher standards of living with job opportunities in the host country are also very important drivers of the emigration of brainy Africans to the European ex-colonial powers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 965.

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Length: 46 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp965

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Keywords: Skilled migration; Africa; colonization; networks; economic reasons;

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  1. Dirk Kohnert, 2007. "African Migration to Europe: Obscured Responsibilities and Common Misconceptions," GIGA Working Paper Series 49, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  2. RosalindS. Hunter & Andrew J. Oswald & Bruce G. Charlton, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages F231-F251, 06.
  3. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.
  4. Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John & Oettl, Alexander, 2011. "Brain drain or brain bank? The impact of skilled emigration on poor-country innovation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 43-55, January.
  5. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Schiff, Maurice, 2008. "Brain Drain and its Determinants: A Major Issue for Small States," IZA Discussion Papers 3398, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Docquier, Frederic & Marfouk, Abdeslam, 2004. "Measuring the international mobility of skilled workers (1990-2000) : release 1.0," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3381, The World Bank.
  7. Frederic, DOCQUIER & Olivier, LOHEST & Abdeslam, MARFOUK, 2007. "Brain drain in developing countries," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007004, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  8. Hatton, Timothy J & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "Out of Africa? Using the Past to Project African Emigration Pressure in the Future," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 556-73, August.
  9. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration Out of Africa," NBER Working Papers 8124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Peter J. Kuhn & Carol McAusland, 2006. "The International Migration of Knowledge Workers: When is Brain Drain Beneficial?," NBER Working Papers 12761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
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