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Soaring Minds: The Flight Of Israel'S Economists

  • DAN BEN-DAVID

"The brain drain issue used to revolve primarily around migration from developing to developed countries. In recent years, there is an accumulation of evidence that this is an issue that should interest developed countries as well. Recently published numbers by the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development indicate a nonnegligible flow of European academics to American universities. This article provides the first case study conducted on the most massive out-migration of academics on record. At a time when Europe and other developed countries have begun to express concern about the phenomenon, the rate of academic emigration from Israel to the United States is already four to six times the European emigration rate. The particular focus here is on the area of economics, in which the exodus of younger academics from Israel coupled with a heightened retirement rate among the older academics has brought Israel's top economics departments-among the best in the world, until now-to the brink. Countries wanting to create conditions for fostering and nurturing the necessary productivity advances underlying economic growth must become aware of how far and how quickly an academic implosion can occur, if left unchecked. The findings brought forth here should help increase the level of this awareness. "("JEL "A11, F22, H52, H83, I23, J31, J61, O15) Copyright (c) 2009 Western Economic Association International.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 363-379

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Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:27:y:2009:i:3:p:363-379
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  1. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon? A Survey of the Literature," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 235-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pierpaolo Giannoccolo, 2004. "The Brain Drain. A Survey of the Literature," Working Papers 20060302, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Statistica, revised Mar 2006.
  3. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2004. "Prospects in the Academic Labor Market for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 227-238, Spring.
  4. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "The Brain Drain: Some Evidence from European Expatriates in the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 4680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Tom Coupé, 2003. "Revealed Performances: Worldwide Rankings of Economists and Economics Departments, 1990-2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1309-1345, December.
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