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International Migration, the Brain Drain and Poverty: A Cross-country Analysis

  • Cristina Cattaneo

The aim of the paper is threefold. First, it empirically investigates the effect of international migration on poverty in origin countries, using data from a cross-country analysis. Second, it explores the specific part of the income distribution from which migrants are drawn, by comparing the effect of international migration on different income quintiles of the population. Finally, given that the selection of migrants depends not only on the income level of their households, but also on the skill levels of movers, the paper casts some light on the implications of the emigration of skilled workers on poverty. This article shows that the stock of international migrants have a positive effect on the income of the poor while it does not have a significant impact on the income of the middle and top quintiles of the population. In particular, a 10 per cent increase in the per capita stock of migrants resident in OECD nations augments the income of the poor by 1 per cent, on average and ceteris paribus. Finally, the poverty-reducing effect of migration holds even when the emigration process selects the best and the brightest. Copyright 2009 The Author. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 32 (2009)
Issue (Month): 8 (08)
Pages: 1180-1202

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:8:p:1180-1202
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