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Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development

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  • Bhargava, Alok
  • Docquier, Frédéric
  • Moullan, Yasser

Abstract

We analyzed the effects of physician emigration on human development indicators in developing countries. First, the geographical distribution of physician brain drain was documented for the period 1991-2004. Second, random and fixed effects models were employed to investigate the effects of physicians in the home countries and abroad on child mortality and vaccination rates. Third, models were estimated to investigate migration-induced incentives in the medical sector that would increase the number of physicians. The results showed positive effects of migration prospects on medical training though the magnitude was too small for generating a net brain gain. Also, infant and child mortality rates were negatively associated with the number of physicians per capita after adult literacy rates exceeded 60%. The results for DPT and measles vaccinations underscored the importance of literacy rates and physicians per capita for higher vaccination rates. From the standpoint of Millennium Development Goals, reducing medical brain drain is likely to have only small benefits for child mortality and vaccination rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhargava, Alok & Docquier, Frédéric & Moullan, Yasser, 2011. "Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 172-183, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:172-183
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alok Bhargava & J. D. Sargan, 2006. "Estimating Dynamic Random Effects Models From Panel Data Covering Short Time Periods," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 1, pages 3-27 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Batista, Catia & Lacuesta, Aitor & Vicente, Pedro C., 2012. "Testing the ‘brain gain’ hypothesis: Micro evidence from Cape Verde," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 32-45.
    5. Alok Bhargava & Dean T. Jamison & Lawrence J. Lau & Christopher J. L. Murray, 2006. "Modeling the effects of health on economic growth," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 20, pages 269-286 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Kangasniemi, Mari & Winters, L. Alan & Commander, Simon, 2007. "Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 915-923, September.
    7. A. Bhargava & L. Franzini & W. Narendranathan, 2006. "Serial Correlation and the Fixed Effects Model," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 4, pages 61-77 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Docquier, Frédéric & Faye, Ousmane & Pestieau, Pierre, 2008. "Is migration a good substitute for education subsidies?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 263-276, June.
    9. Alok Bhargava & Jiang Yu, 2006. "A Longitudinal Analysis of Infant and Child Mortality Rates in Developing Countries," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 21, pages 289-301 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Bhargava, Alok, 2003. "Family planning, gender differences and infant mortality: evidence from Uttar Pradesh, India," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 225-240, January.
    11. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, January.
    12. Alok Bhargava, 2006. "Identification and Panel Data Models with Endogenous Regressors," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 3, pages 49-60 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. 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.
    14. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
    15. Bhargava, Alok, 1997. "Nutritional status and the allocation of time in Rwandese households," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 277-295, March.
    16. Lisa Chauvet & Flore Gubert & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2009. "Are Remittances More Effective Than Aid To Reduce Child Mortality? An Empirical Assessment using Inter and Intra-Country Data," Working Papers DT/2009/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    17. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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