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Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers

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  • Michel Beine
  • Fréderic Docquier
  • Hillel Rapoport

Abstract

Using new data on emigration rates by education level, we examine the impact of brain drain migration on human capital formation in developing countries. We find evidence of a positive effect of skilled migration prospects on gross human capital formation in a cross-section of 127 countries. For each country of the sample we then estimate the net effect of the brain drain using counterfactual simulations. Countries combining relatively low levels of human capital and low emigration rates are shown to experience a 'beneficial brain drain', and conversely, there are more losers than winners, and the former tend to lose relatively more than what the latter gain. Copyright © 2008 The Author(s).

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:528:p:631-652
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    2. McCormick, Barry & Wahba, Jackline, 2000. "Overseas Employment and Remittances to a Dual Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 509-534, April.
    3. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-930, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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