IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The brain drain and the world distribution of income

  • Mountford, Andrew
  • Rapoport, Hillel

Skilled emigration (or brain drain) from developing to developed countries is becoming the dominant pattern of international migration today. Such migration is likely to affect the world distribution of income both directly, through the mobility of people, and indirectly, as the prospect of migration affects the rate of return to education in both the sending and receiving economies. This migration pattern will therefore affect human capital accumulation and fertility decisions in both the sending and receiving economies. This paper analyzes these effects in a dynamic two country model of the world economy where agents in both countries make optimal fertility and human capital decisions. The implications of the analysis for the world distribution of income are derived in the light of recent empirical findings of the brain drain literature. The analysis shows that the current trend towards predominantly skilled emigration from poor to rich countries may in the long run increase inequality in the world distribution of income as relatively poor countries grow large in terms of population. In the short run however, it is possible for world inequality to fall due to rises in GDP per capita in large developing economies with sufficiently low skilled emigration rates.

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: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304-3878(09)00119-9
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 4-17

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:95:y:2011:i:1:p:4-17
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410005, EconWPA.
  2. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497.
  3. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2009. "On the Robustness of Brain Gain Estimates," Working Papers 2009-19, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Keller, Wolfgang, 2002. "International Technology Diffusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 3133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2011. "The microeconomic determinants of emigration and return migration of the best and brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 18-29, May.
  7. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  9. David DE LA CROIX & Matthias DOEPKE, 2002. "Public versus Private Education When Diferential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002013, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  10. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2008-2, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert F. Tamura, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sandra E. Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," Working Papers 200718, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  13. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
  14. Sudhir Anand & Paul Segal, 2008. "What Do We Know about Global Income Inequality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 57-94, March.
  15. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Migration Selectivity and the Evolution of Spatial Inequality," Working Papers 2004-04, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  16. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2006. "Trade and the Great Divergence: The Family Connection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 299-303, May.
  17. Eliakim Katz & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "On human capital formation with exit options," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 267-274, 06.
  18. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  19. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Çaglar Özden, 2009. "Diasporas," CREA Discussion Paper Series 09-15, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  20. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054.
  21. Robert J. Barro & Gary S. Becker, . "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  22. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1998. "Human Capital Depletion, Human Capital Formation, and Migration. A Blessing in a "Curse"?," Economics Series 55, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  23. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Measuring International Skilled Migration: A New Database Controlling for Age of Entry," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 249-254, June.
  24. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
  25. Kremer, Michael & Chen, Daniel L, 2002. "Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-58, September.
  26. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S143-62, August.
  27. Michèle V. K. Belot & Timothy J. Hatton, 2012. "Immigrant Selection in the OECD," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1105-1128, December.
  28. 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.
  29. Eric Gould & Omer Moav, 2010. "When is "Too Much" Inequality Not Enough? The Selection of Israeli Emigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1014, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  30. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
  31. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and … Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397.
  32. Ronald Findlay, 1978. "Relative Backwardness, Direct Foreign Investment, and the Transfer of Technology: A Simple Dynamic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 1-16.
  33. repec:ucn:wpaper:10197/317 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, 08.
  35. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  36. Hung-Ju Chen, 2009. "A Brain Gain Or A Brain Drain? Migration, Endogenous Fertility, And Human Capital Formation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(4), pages 766-782, October.
  37. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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:eee:deveco:v:95:y:2011:i:1:p:4-17. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)

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.