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Brain drain in the age of mass migration: Does relative inequality explain migrant selectivity?

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  • Stolz, Yvonne
  • Baten, Joerg

Abstract

Brain drain is a core economic policy problem for many developing countries today. Does relative inequality in source and destination countries influence the brain-drain phenomenon? We explore human capital selectivity during the period 1820–1909.We apply age heaping techniques to measure human capital selectivity of international migrants. In a sample of 52 source and five destination countries we find selective migration determined by relative anthropometric inequality in source and destination countries. Other inequality measures confirm this. The results remain robust in OLS and Arellano–Bond approaches. We confirm the Roy–Borjas model of migrant self-selection. Moreover, we find that countries like Germany and UK experienced a small positive effect, because the less educated emigrated in larger numbers.

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  • Stolz, Yvonne & Baten, Joerg, 2012. "Brain drain in the age of mass migration: Does relative inequality explain migrant selectivity?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 205-220.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:49:y:2012:i:2:p:205-220
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2012.01.001
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    3. Massey, Catherine G., 2016. "Immigration quotas and immigrant selection," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 21-40.
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    11. Blum, Matthias & Krauss, Karl-Peter, 2017. "Age heaping and numeracy: Looking behind the curtain," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2017-05, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    12. Matthias Blum & Christopher L. Colvin & Laura McAtackney & Eoin McLaughlin, 2017. "Women of an uncertain age: quantifying human capital accumulation in rural Ireland in the nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 70(1), pages 187-223, February.
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    16. Stolz, Yvonne & Baten, Jörg & Botelho, Tarcísio, 2011. "Growth effects of 19th century mass migrations: "Fome Zero" for Brazil," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 20, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International migration; Labor markets; Human capital; Economic history;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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