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Eight questions about brain drain

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  • Gibson, John
  • McKenzie, David

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5668.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5668

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Keywords: Population Policies; Tertiary Education; International Migration; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Remittances;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Caglar Ozden & Christopher R. Parsons & Maurice Schiff & Terrie L. Walmsley, 2011. "Where on Earth is Everybody? The Evolution of Global Bilateral Migration 1960-2000," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 12-56, May.
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  7. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Measuring international skilled migration: a new database controlling for age of entry," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10411, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. 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.
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  10. 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).
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  14. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 339-375, 05.
  15. Bhargava, Alok & Docquier, Frédéric & Moullan, Yasser, 2011. "Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 172-183, March.
  16. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
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  18. 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.
  19. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2006. "Can migration reduce educational attainment ? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3952, The World Bank.
  20. Antonio Spilimbergo, 2007. "Democracy and Foreign Education," IMF Working Papers 07/51, International Monetary Fund.
  21. 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).
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Dilip Ratha & Sonia Plaza, 2011. "Diaspora for Development in Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2295.
  25. Michael Clemens, 2007. "Do Visas Kill? Health Effects of African Health Professional Emigration," Working Papers 114, Center for Global Development.
  26. World Bank, 2011. "Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 : Second Edition," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2522.
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