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

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  • Constant, Amelie F.

    ()
    (George Washington University, Temple University)

  • Tien, Bienvenue N.

    ()
    (World Bank)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4615.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4615

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

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  1. Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "African Migration to Europe:Obscured Responsibilities and Common Misconceptions," MPRA Paper 3360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Ajay Agrawal & Devesh Kapur & John McHale, 2008. "Brain Drain or Brain Bank? The Impact of Skilled Emigration on Poor-Country Innovation," NBER Working Papers 14592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2001. "Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration out of Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 250, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Frederic, DOCQUIER & Olivier, LOHEST & Abdeslam, MARFOUK, 2007. "Brain drain in developing countries," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques), Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques 2007004, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  10. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  11. RosalindS. Hunter & Andrew J. Oswald & Bruce G. Charlton, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages F231-F251, 06.
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