IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The brain drain: a review of theory and facts

Listed author(s):
  • Simon Commander
  • Mari Kangasniemi
  • L. Alan Winters

Skilled migration has increased in recent years, often stimulated by the explicit use of targeted visa programmes by developed countries. This paper examines the available analytical and empirical literature on the brain drain to try and understand better whether skille migration from developing countries must always be harmful to the country of origin. We show that early generation models – mostly dating to the 1970s – found that such migration would be harmful, mostly though the impact on wages and employment, as well as through fiscal costs. A more recent literature has argued that a beneficial brain drain can arise if migration has educational externatilities. As human capital rises, growth will also be positively affected. However, we show that if screening is applied such benefits may disappear or become smaller. Recent empirical work on the health and software sectors provides some contrasting evidence.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: ber-0281
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its journal Brussels economic review.

Volume (Year): 47 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 29-44

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2004:v:47:i:1:p:29-44
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2004:v:47:i:1:p:29-44. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benoit Pauwels)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.