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Brain-drain taxes for non-benevolent governments

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  • Wilson, John Douglas

Abstract

This paper investigates the welfare effects of brain-drain taxes levied by non-benevolent governments, whereby a country collects a tax from skilled emigrants but potentially wastes a sizable portion of the revenue. Using a model in which taxes are chosen to maximize expected political rents, I show that the availability of a brain-drain tax increases a weighted sum of citizen utilities. However, the government's optimal brain-drain tax is found to be higher than the level that maximizes this weighted sum. In another model, a brain-drain tax is found to be desirable when governments use public good expenditures to compete for mobile residents.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilson, John Douglas, 2011. "Brain-drain taxes for non-benevolent governments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 68-76, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:95:y:2011:i:1:p:68-76
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    2. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2012. "Globalization, Brain Drain, and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 681-730, September.
    3. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    4. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    5. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    6. Clemens Michael A., 2014. "A Case Against Taxes and Quotas on High-Skill Emigration," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-39, June.

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