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Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development

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

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 172-183

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:172-183
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  1. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  2. Batista, Catia & Lacuesta, Aitor & Vicente, Pedro C., 2010. "Testing the 'Brain Gain' Hypothesis: Micro Evidence from Cape Verde," IZA Discussion Papers 5048, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters & Simon Commander, 2004. "Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19984, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. 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.
  5. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Bhargava, Alok, 1997. "Nutritional status and the allocation of time in Rwandese households," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 277-295, March.
  9. Michel, BEINE & Frédéric, DOCQUIER & Hillel, RAPOPORT, 2006. "Brain drain and human capital formation in developing countries : winners and losers," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006023, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  10. A. Bhargava & L. Franzini & W. Narendranathan, 1982. "Serial Correlation and the Fixed Effects Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 533-549.
  11. Bhargava, Alok & Sargan, J D, 1983. "Estimating Dynamic Random Effects Models from Panel Data Covering Short Time Periods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1635-59, November.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Alok Bhargava & Jiang Yu, 1997. "A Longitudinal Analysis of Infant and Child Mortality Rates in Developing Countries," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 32(2), pages 141-153, July.
  15. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, June.
  16. Alok Bhargava, 1991. "Identification and Panel Data Models with Endogenous Regressors," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 129-140.
  17. Bhargava, Alok & Jamison, Dean T. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Murray, Christopher J. L., 2001. "Modeling the effects of health on economic growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 423-440, May.
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