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

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  • Cristina Cattaneo

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Cattaneo, 2009. "International Migration, the Brain Drain and Poverty: A Cross-country Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(8), pages 1180-1202, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:8:p:1180-1202
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    Cited by:

    1. Volker Grossmann & David Stadelmann, 2013. "Wage Effects of High-Skilled Migration: International Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 27(2), pages 297-319.
    2. Kundu, Nobinkhor, 2013. "An Enquiry into the Sluggish Growth of Workers’ Remittance Determinants in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 57718, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ousman Gajigo & Audrey Verdier‐Chouchane, 2014. "Working Paper 203 - Immigrants, Skills and Wages in the Gambian Labor Market," Working Paper Series 2134, African Development Bank.
    4. Nguyen, Cuong & van den Berg, Marrit & Lensink, Robert, 2009. "The Impact of International Remittances on Income, Work Efforts, Poverty and Inequality: Evidence from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 50313, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Deluna, Roperto Jr & Pedida, Sunshine, 2014. "Overseas Filipino Workers Remittances, Inequality and Quality of Life in the Philippines," MPRA Paper 56070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Kundu, Nobinkhor & Banu, Asma & Sehreen, Farhana, 2012. "Workers’ remittances impact on the economic growth: Evidence from capital inflows in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 65340, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 09 Jun 2012.
    7. Ahortor, Christian R.K. & Adenutsi, Deodat E., 2008. "The impact of remittances on economic growth in small-open developing economies," MPRA Paper 37109, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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