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Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK

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  • Mari Kangasniemi
  • L. Alan Winters
  • Simon Commander

Abstract

The ¿beneficial brain drain¿ hypothesis suggests that skilled migration can be good for a sending country because the incentives it creates for training increase that country¿s supply of skilled labour. To work, this hypothesis requires that the degree of screening of migrants by the host country is limited and that the possibility of migration actually encourages home country residents to obtain education. We studied the implications of doctors¿ migration by conducting a survey among overseas doctors in the UK. The results suggest that the overseas doctors who come to the UK are carefully screened and that only a minority of doctors from developing countries considered the possibility of migration when they chose to obtain medical education. The incentive effect is thus probably not large enough to increase the skills-supply in developing countries. Doctors do, however, remit income to their home countries and many intend to return after completing their training in the UK, so there could be benefits via these routes.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19984/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19984.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19984

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Related research

Keywords: brain drain; international labour market; professional labour markets; doctors; physicians; international migration;

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References

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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 _096, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  2. A M Findlay & F L N Li & A J Jowett & M Brown & R Skeldon, 1994. "Doctors diagnose their destination: an analysis of the length of employment abroad for Hong Kong doctors," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(10), pages 1605-1624, October.
  3. Jean-Pierre Vidal, 1998. "The effect of emigration on human capital formation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 589-600.
  4. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," IZA Discussion Papers 819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
  7. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
  8. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon? A Survey of the Literature," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 235-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1975. "Brain drain and economic growth : A dynamic model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 223-247, September.
  11. K. Hamada & J. N. Bhagwati, 1975. "Domestic Distortions, Imperfect Information and the Brain Drain," Working papers 161, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Goldfarb, Robert & Havrylyshyn, Oli & Mangum, Stephen, 1984. "Can remittances compensate for manpower outflows : The case of Philippine physicians," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 1-17.
  13. Hamada, Koichi & Bhagwati, Jagdish, 1975. "Domestic distortions, imperfect information and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 265-279, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Elisabetta Lodigiani, 2009. "Diaspora Externalities as a Cornerstone of the New Brain Drain Literature," CREA Discussion Paper Series 09-03, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  2. Yasser Moullan, 2009. "Can Health Foreign Assistance Break the Medical Brain Drain ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00399306, HAL.
  3. Docquier, Frédéric, 2006. "Brain Drain and Inequality Across Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 2440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Docquier, Frederic & Faye, Ousmane & Pestieau, Pierre, 2008. "Is migration a good substitute for education subsidies ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4614, The World Bank.
  5. Okeke, Edward N., 2013. "Brain drain: Do economic conditions “push” doctors out of developing countries?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 169-178.
  6. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Oden-Defoort, Cecily, 2011. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Brain Gain," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 523-532, April.
  7. Boncea Irina, 2013. "Medical Brain Drain - A Theoretical Approach," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 64-71, July.
  8. John E. Roemer & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2013. "Barefoot and Footloose Doctors: Optimal Resource Allocation in Developing Countries with Medical Migration," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1922, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Rutten, Martine, 2008. "Medical migration : what can we learn from the UK's perspective ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4593, The World Bank.
  10. Di Maria, Corrado & Lazarova, Emiliya A., 2012. "Migration, Human Capital Formation, and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 938-955.
  11. Bhargava, Alok & Docquier, Frédéric & Moullan, Yasser, 2011. "Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 172-183, March.

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