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On the Robustness of Brain Gain Estimates

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Author Info

  • Beine, Michel

    ()
    (University of Luxembourg)

  • Docquier, Frédéric

    ()
    (Université catholique de Louvain)

  • Rapoport, Hillel

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

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 (Beine, Docquier and Rapoport, Economic Journal, 2008) 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 an 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 the Beine et al. (2007) 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 specification chosen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4293.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, 2010, 97/98, 143 - 166
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4293

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Keywords: migration; brain drain; brain gain;

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References

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  1. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Ethnic Discrimination and the Migration of Skilled Labor," Working Papers 2001-19, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  2. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995. "Stabilization Policy, Learning by Doing, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1998. "Human Capital Depletion, Human Capital Formation, and Migration. A Blessing in a "Curse"?," Economics Series 55, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  4. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  5. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  6. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  7. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
  8. Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Skilled Migration: The Perspective of Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2873, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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, vol. 21(2), pages 249-254, June.
  10. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Inflation and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, 04.
  12. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  13. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  14. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 43-57, January.
  15. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1996. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 96/40, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Peter J. Klenow & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2004. "Externalities and Growth," NBER Working Papers 11009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 1999. "Fuite des cerveaux et formation de capital humain," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 79, pages 63-72.
  18. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  19. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Abigail Barr, 1995. "The missing factor: entrepreneurial networks, enterprises and economic growth in Ghana," CSAE Working Paper Series 1995-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  21. Faini, Riccardo, 2003. "Is the Brain Drain an Unmitigated Blessing?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Frédéric Docquier & Elisabetta Lodigiani & Hillel Rapoport & Maurice Schiff, 2011. "Emigration and Democracy," Development Working Papers 307, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 09 May 2011.
  2. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2012. "Globalization, Brain Drain, and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 681-730, September.
  3. Ruxanda Berlinschi & Jeroen Schokkaert & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2010. "When Drains and Gains Coincide: Migration and International Football Performance," LICOS Discussion Papers 26510, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  4. Mountford, Andrew & Rapoport, Hillel, 2011. "The brain drain and the world distribution of income," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 4-17, May.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Yao Pan, 2012. "The Effect of Labor Mobility Restrictions on Human Capital Accumulation in China," Working Papers 2012-5, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  8. Antwi, James & Phillips, David C., 2013. "Wages and health worker retention: Evidence from public sector wage reforms in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 101-115.

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