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Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers

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Author Info

  • Beine, Michel

    ()
    (University of Luxembourg)

  • Docquier, Frédéric

    ()
    (Université catholique de Louvain)

  • Rapoport, Hillel

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

We present an empirical evaluation of the growth effects of the brain drain for the source countries of migrants. Using recent US data on migration rates by education levels (Carrington and Detragiache, 1998), we find empirical support for the ”beneficial brain drain hypothesis” in a cross-section of 50 developing countries. At the country-level, we find that most countries combining low levels of human capital and low migration rates of skilled workers tend to be positively affected by the brain drain. By contrast, the brain drain appears to have negative growth effects in countries where the migration rate of the highly educated is above 20% and/or where the proportion of people with higher education is above 5%. While the number of winners is smaller, these include nearly 80% of the total population of the sample.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 819.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp819

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Keywords: brain drain; human capital formation; growth; migration; immigration policy;

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  1. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
  6. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  8. McCulloch, Rachel & Yellen, Janet L, 1977. "Factor Mobility, Regional Development, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 79-96, February.
  9. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. " The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 93-124, March.
  10. Usher, Dan, 1977. "Public Property and the Effects of Migration upon Other Residents of the Migrants' Countries of Origin and Destination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 1001-20, October.
  11. Miyagiwa, K., 1989. "Scale Economics In Education And The Brain Drain Problem," Working Papers 89-09, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. Blomqvist, Ake G, 1986. "International Migration of Educated Manpower and Social Rates of Return to Education in LDCs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 165-74, February.
  14. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
  15. Funkhouser, Edward, 1995. "Remittances from International Migration: A Comparison of El Salvador and Nicaragua," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 137-46, February.
  16. 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, vol. 16(1), pages 161-175, 02.
  17. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  18. 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.
  19. Kwok, Viem & Leland, Hayne, 1982. "An Economic Model of the Brain Drain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 91-100, March.
  20. McCormick, Barry & Wahba, Jackline, 2000. "Overseas Employment and Remittances to a Dual Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 509-34, April.
  21. 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.
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