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Is migration a good substitute for education subsidies?

  • Docquier, Frédéric
  • Faye, Ousmane
  • Pestieau, Pierre

Assuming a given educational policy, the recent brain drain literature reveals that skilled migration can boost the average level of schooling in developing countries. In this paper, we introduce educational subsidies determined by governments concerned by the number of skilled workers remaining in the country. Our theoretical analysis shows that developing countries can benefit from skilled emigration when educational subsidies entail high fiscal distortions. However when taxes are not too distortionary, it is desirable to impede emigration and subsidize education. We then investigate the empirical relationship between educational subsidies and migration prospects, obtaining a negative relationship for 105 countries. Based on this result, we revisit the country specific effects of skilled migration upon human capital. We show that the endogeneity of public subsidies reduces the number of winners and increases the magnitude of the losses.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 263-276

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:86:y:2008:i:2:p:263-276
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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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, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  2. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "Is the Medical Brain Drain Beneficial? Evidence from Overseas Doctors in the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0618, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2003. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 755-777, 05.
  4. Mountford, Andrew, 1997. "Can a brain drain be good for growth in the source economy?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 287-303, August.
  5. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, . "Brain drain and human capital formation in developing countries: winners and losers?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10415, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
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  8. Nils-Petter Lagerloef, 2000. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: The Three Regimes Revisited," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1248, Econometric Society.
  9. Michel Beine & Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2006. "Measuring International Skilled Migration: New Estimates Controlling for Age of Entry," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0613, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  10. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  11. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Commander, Simon & Chanda, Rupa & Kangasniemi, Mari & Winters, L. Alan, 2004. "Must Skilled Migration Be a Brain Drain? Evidence from the Indian Software Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 1422, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Stark, Oded & Wang, Yong, 2001. "Inducing Human Capital Formation: Migration as a Substitute for Subsidies," Economics Series 100, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  14. Batista, Catia & Lacuesta, Aitor & Vicente, Pedro C., 2007. "Brain Drain or Brain Gain? Micro Evidence from an African Success Story," IZA Discussion Papers 3035, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1999. "Population and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 145-149, May.
  16. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
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