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Brain drain and factor complementarity


  • Pieretti, Patrice
  • Zou, Benteng


In this paper we develop an extended Solow growth model with emigration which aggregates different types of labor skills from strict complementarity to perfect substitution. The derivation of balanced growth paths shows that the most relevant cases for studying the impact of emigration are those where these paths can only be attained asymptotically. This requires and justifies the need for using transitional dynamics. We therefore derive a complete characterization of the transitional dynamics of output and wages in the sending country for all possible values taken by the elasticity of substitution between skilled and unskilled workers. The model then serves to qualitatively study the effect of brain drain on per capita income and wages of the sending country.

Suggested Citation

  • Pieretti, Patrice & Zou, Benteng, 2009. "Brain drain and factor complementarity," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 404-413, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:26:y:2009:i:2:p:404-413

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
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    7. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
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    9. Manon Domingues Dos Santos & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2003. "Migration as a source of growth: The perspective of a developing country," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(1), pages 161-175, February.
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    12. Stark, Oded, 2004. "Rethinking the Brain Drain," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 15-22, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Bourgain & Patrice Pieretti & Benteng Zou, 2008. "The Shortage of Medical Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Substitution Policy," CREA Discussion Paper Series 08-13, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    2. Brambila Macias, Jose, 2008. "Remittances, Migration and Informality in Mexico. A Simple Model," MPRA Paper 8373, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Brain drain Growth Complementarity Migration;

    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
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical


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