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Eight Questions about Brain Drain

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Author Info

  • Gibson, John

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

  • McKenzie, David

    ()
    (World Bank)

Abstract

High-skilled emigration is an emotive issue that in popular discourse is often referred to as brain drain, conjuring images of extremely negative impacts on developing countries. Recent discussions of brain gain, diaspora effects, and other advantages of migration have been used to argue against this, but much of the discussion has been absent of evidence. This paper builds upon a new wave of empirical research to answer eight key questions underlying much of the brain drain debate: 1) What is brain drain? 2) Why should economists care about it? 3) Is brain drain increasing? 4) Is there a positive relationship between skilled and unskilled migration? 5) What makes brain drain more likely? 6) Does brain gain exist? 7) Do high-skilled workers remit, invest, and share knowledge back home? and 8) What do we know about the fiscal and production externalities of brain drain?

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5730.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5730.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2011, 25 (3), 107-128
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5730

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Keywords: high-skilled emigration; brain gain; brain drain; development;

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References

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  1. Abdeslam Marfouk, 2007. "Brain Drain in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 193-218, June.
  2. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  3. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2009. "The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," Working Papers 173, Center for Global Development.
  4. Michael Clemens & Satish Chand, 2008. "Skilled Emigration and Skill Creation: A quasi-experiment," Working Papers 152, Center for Global Development.
  5. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2010. "The economic consequences of"brain drain"of the best and brightest: microeconomic evidence from five countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5394, The World Bank.
  6. Beata S. Javorcik & Çaglar Özden & Mariana Spatareanu & Cristina Neagu, 2006. "Migrant Networks and Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2006-003, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  7. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Globalization, Brain Drain and Development," Working Papers 2011-18, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  8. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2006. "Can migration reduce educational attainment ? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3952, The World Bank.
  9. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  10. Michael A. Clemens, 2009. "Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-08, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  11. Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina & Ozden, Caglar, 2005. "Brain waste? Educated immigrants in the U.S. labor market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3581, The World Bank.
  12. Cécily Defoort, 2008. "Tendances de long terme des migrations internationales : analyse à partir des six principaux pays receveurs," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 63(2), pages 317-351.
  13. Albert Bollard & David McKenzie & Melanie Morten & Hillel Rapoport, 2009. "Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The microdata show that more educated migrants remit more," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0926, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  14. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
  15. World Bank, 2011. "Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 : Second Edition," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2522, October.
  16. Desai, Mihir A. & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John & Rogers, Keith, 2009. "The fiscal impact of high-skilled emigration: Flows of Indians to the U.S," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 32-44, January.
  17. Jasso, Guillermina & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 2008. "Selection Criteria and the Skill Composition of Immigrants: A Comparative Analysis of Australian and U.S. Employment Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 3564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2006. "Democracy and Foreign Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 5934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. 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.
  20. Ozden, Caglar & Parsons, Christopher R. & Schiff, Maurice & Walmsley, Terrie L., 2011. "Where on earth is everybody ? the evolution of global bilateral migration 1960-2000," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5709, The World Bank.
  21. 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.
  22. Alok Bhargava & Frédéric Docquier, 2008. "HIV Pandemic, Medical Brain Drain, and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 345-366, May.
  23. Michael Clemens, 2007. "Do Visas Kill? Health Effects of African Health Professional Emigration," Working Papers 114, Center for Global Development.
  24. 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.
  25. Eliakim Katz & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "On human capital formation with exit options," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 267-274, 06.
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