Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Economic Consequences of "Brain Drain" of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gibson, John

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

  • McKenzie, David

    ()
    (World Bank)

Abstract

Brain drain has long been a common concern for migrant-sending countries, particularly for small countries where high-skilled emigration rates are highest. However, while economic theory suggests a number of possible benefits, in addition to costs, from skilled emigration, the evidence base on many of these is very limited. Moreover, the lessons from case studies of benefits to China and India from skilled emigration may not be relevant to much smaller countries. This paper presents the results of innovative surveys which tracked academic high-achievers from five countries to wherever they moved in the world in order to directly measure at the micro level the channels through which high-skilled emigration affects the sending country. The results show that there are very high levels of emigration and of return migration among the very highly skilled; the income gains to the best and brightest from migrating are very large, and an order of magnitude or more greater than any other effect; there are large benefits from migration in terms of postgraduate education; most high-skilled migrants from poorer countries send remittances; but that involvement in trade and foreign direct investment is a rare occurrence. There is considerable knowledge flow from both current and return migrants about job and study opportunities abroad, but little net knowledge sharing from current migrants to home country governments or businesses. Finally, the fiscal costs vary considerably across countries, and depend on the extent to which governments rely on progressive income taxation.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5124.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5124.

as in new window
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2012, 122 (560), 339 - 375
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5124

Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information:
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: brain gain; highly skilled migration; brain drain;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," IZA Discussion Papers 2292, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2000. "The Optimal Migration Duration and Activity Choice after Re-migration," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim 00-39, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. Bollard, Albert & McKenzie, David & Morten, Melanie & Rapoport, Hillel, 2009. "Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The Microdata Show That More Educated Migrants Remit More," IZA Discussion Papers 4534, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
  5. Sebastian Gundel & Heiko Peters, 2008. "What Determines the Duration of Stay of Immigrants in Germany?: Evidence from a Longitudinal Duration Analysis," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 79, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  7. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Frédéric DOCQUIER & Hillel RAPOPORT, 2011. "Globalization, brain drain and development," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales), Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) 2011009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  9. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
  10. Amelie F. Constant & Elena D’Agosto, 2010. "Where Do the Brainy Italians Go?," AIEL Series in Labour Economics, AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro, in: Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Francesco Pastore (ed.), The Labour Market Impact of the EU Enlargement. A New Regional Geography of Europe?, edition 1, chapter 10, pages 247-271 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
  11. Riccardo Faini, 2006. "Remittances and the brain drain," Development Working Papers, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano 214, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  12. Javorcik, Beata S. & Özden, Çaglar & Spatareanu, Mariana & Neagu, Cristina, 2011. "Migrant networks and foreign direct investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 231-241, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
  15. David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
  16. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2003. "International migration, remittances, and the brain drain ; a study of 24 labor exporting countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3069, The World Bank.
  17. 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).
  18. Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2010. "Should We Track Migrant Households When Collecting Household Panel Data?:Household Relocation, Economic Mobility and Attrition Biases in the Rural Philippines," MPRA Paper 28787, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Jim Davies, . "Empirical Evidence on Human Capital Externalities," Working Papers-Department of Finance Canada, Department of Finance Canada 2003-11, Department of Finance Canada.
  20. Goldin, Claudia D. & Bertrand, Marianne & Katz, Lawrence F., 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," Scholarly Articles 8810041, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. 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.
  22. Michael Clemens & Satish Chand, 2008. "Skilled Emigration and Skill Creation: A quasi-experiment," Working Papers, Center for Global Development 152, Center for Global Development.
  23. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2009. "The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," Working Papers, Center for Global Development 173, Center for Global Development.
  24. Bollard, Albert & McKenzie, David & Morten, Melanie, 2010. "The remitting patterns of African migrants in the OECD," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5260, The World Bank.
  25. Giorgio Brunello & Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2009. "Peer Effects in Higher Education: Does the Field of Study Matter?," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" 0092, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  26. William R. Kerr, 2005. "Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion," Harvard Business School Working Papers, Harvard Business School 06-022, Harvard Business School, revised Apr 2007.
  27. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew G. Resseger, 2010. "The Complementarity Between Cities And Skills," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 221-244.
  28. Ben-David, Dan, 2007. "Soaring Minds: The Flight of Israel’s Economists," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Riccardo Faini, 2007. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Do More Skilled Migrants Remit More?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 177-191, May.
  30. Simon Commander & Rupa Chanda & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2008. "The Consequences of Globalisation: India's Software Industry and Cross-border Labour Mobility -super-1 ," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 187-211, 02.
  31. Gibson, John, 2001. "Unobservable family effects and the apparent external benefits of education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 225-233, June.
  32. Manon Domingues Dos Santos & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2003. "Migration as a source of growth: The perspective of a developing country," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 161-175, 02.
  33. Michael Clemens & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "Income per natural: Measuring development as if people mattered more than places," Working Papers, Center for Global Development 143, Center for Global Development.
  34. Mountford, A., 1995. "Can a brain drain be good for growth?," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1995-8, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  35. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  36. Alok Bhargava & Frédéric Docquier, 2008. "HIV Pandemic, Medical Brain Drain, and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 345-366, May.
  37. Rosalind S Hunter, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Working Papers id:2048, eSocialSciences.
  38. Michael A. Clemens & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "Income per Natural: Measuring Development for People Rather Than Places," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(3), pages 395-434.
  39. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2010. "Migration and Economic Mobility in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracking Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  41. Mountford, Andrew, 1997. "Can a brain drain be good for growth in the source economy?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 287-303, August.
  42. Michael Clemens, 2007. "Do Visas Kill? Health Effects of African Health Professional Emigration," Working Papers, Center for Global Development 114, Center for Global Development.
  43. Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and capital market imperfections," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 242-262, April.
  44. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 2007. "Star Scientists, Innovation and Regional and National Immigration," NBER Working Papers 13547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Michel, BEINE & Frédéric, DOCQUIER & Hillel, RAPOPORT, 2006. "Brain drain and human capital formation in developing countries : winners and losers," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques), Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques 2006023, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  46. Schiff, Maurice, 2005. "Brain Gain: Claims about Its Size and Impact on Welfare and Growth Are Greatly Exaggerated," IZA Discussion Papers 1599, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  47. 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.
  48. Ça?lar Özden & Maurice Schiff, 2006. "International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6929, August.
  49. Michael Clemens, 2010. "The Roots of Global Wage Gaps: Evidence from Randomized Processing of U.S. Visas," Working Papers, Center for Global Development 212, Center for Global Development.
  50. Robert H. Haveman & Barbara L. Wolfe, 1984. "Schooling and Economic Well-Being: The Role of Nonmarket Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 377-407.
  51. Supreet Kaur & Michael Kremer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2010. "Self-Control and the Development of Work Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 624-28, May.
  52. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The Economic Consequences of â??Brain Drainâ?
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-09-05 12:16:06
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Kuschminder, Katie & Siegel, Melissa, 2012. "Highly skilled temporary return, technological change and Innovation: The Case of the TRQN Project in Afghanistan," MERIT Working Papers 017, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Dean Yang, 2011. "Migrant Remittances," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 129-52, Summer.
  3. Yaw Nyarko, 2014. "The Returns to the Brain Drain and Brain Circulation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Some Computations Using Data from Ghana," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: African Successes: Human Capital National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bénassy, Jean-Pascal & Brezis, Elise S., 2013. "Brain drain and development traps," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 15-22.
  5. Michael Clemens, Colum Graham, and Stephen Howes, 2014. "Skill Development and Regional Mobility: Lessons from the Australia-Pacific Technical College - Working Paper 370," Working Papers, Center for Global Development 370, Center for Global Development.
  6. Michael Clemens and David McKenzie, 2014. "Why Don't Remittances Appear to Affect Growth? - Working Paper 366," Working Papers, Center for Global Development 366, Center for Global Development.
  7. Ernest Miguélez, 2014. "Inventor Diasporas and the Internalionalization of Technology," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1425, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. Poot, Jacques & Roskruge, Matthew, 2013. "Internationalisation of Education and Returns in the Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 7696, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Eight Questions about Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 5730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Sona Schovankova, 2013. "Determinants of the Spatial Distribution of Foreign Empolyees on Different Skilled Positions: The Case of the Czech Republic," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 2, pages 115-139, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Chiara Franzoni & Giuseppe Scellato & Paula Stephan, 2012. "The Mover's Advantage: Scientific Performance of Mobile Academics," NBER Working Papers 18577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Commander, Simon & Nikolaychuk, Olexandr & Vikhrov, Dmytro, 2013. "Migration from Ukraine: Brawn or Brain? New Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7348, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2013. "Scientific Mobility and Knowledge Networks in High Emigration Countries: Evidence from the Pacific," Working Papers in Economics, University of Waikato, Department of Economics 13/02, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  15. Michael Clemens and Timothy N. Ogden, 2014. "Migration as a Strategy for Household Finance: A Research Agenda on Remittances, Payments, and Development- Working Paper 354," Working Papers, Center for Global Development 354, Center for Global Development.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5124. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.