IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eme/ijmpps/v37y2016i7p1227-1248.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Losing our minds? New research directions on skilled emigration and development

Author

Listed:
  • Michael A. Clemens

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to critique the last decade of research on the effects of high-skill emigration from developing countries, and proposes six new directions for fruitful research. Design/methodology/approach - The study singles out a core assumption underlying much of the recent literature, calling it the “Lump of Learning model” of human capital and development, and describes five ways that research has come to challenge that assumption. It assesses the usefulness of that model in the face of accumulating evidence. Findings - The axioms of the Lump of Learning model have shaped research priorities in this literature, but many of those axioms do not have a clear empirical basis. Future research proceeding from established facts would set different priorities, and would devote more attention to measuring the effects of migration on skilled migrant households, rigorously estimating human capital externalities, gathering microdata beyond censuses, and carefully considering optimal policy – among others. Originality/value - The recent literature has pursued a series of extensions to the Lump of Learning model. This study urges instead discarding that model, pointing toward a new paradigm for research on skilled migration and development.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Clemens, 2016. "Losing our minds? New research directions on skilled emigration and development," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 1227-1248, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:37:y:2016:i:7:p:1227-1248
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/IJM-07-2015-0112?utm_campaign=RePEc&WT.mc_id=RePEc
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Miyagiwa, Kaz, 1991. "Scale Economies in Education and the Brain Drain Problem," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 743-759, August.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    3. Albert Bollard & David McKenzie & Melanie Morten & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The Microdata Show That More Educated Migrants Remit More," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 132-156, May.
    4. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2006. "Identifying Human-Capital Externalities: Theory with Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 381-412.
    5. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
    6. Eliakim Katz & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "On human capital formation with exit options," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 267-274, June.
    7. 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.
    8. David McKenzie & Dean Yang, 2012. "Experimental Approaches in Migration Studies," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods in Migration, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Mariya Aleksynska & Giovanni Peri, 2014. "Isolating the Network Effect of Immigrants on Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 434-455, March.
    10. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    11. Mercier, Marion, 2016. "The return of the prodigy son: Do return migrants make better leaders?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 76-91.
    12. Di Maria, Corrado & Lazarova, Emiliya A., 2012. "Migration, Human Capital Formation, and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 938-955.
    13. Christopher Parsons & Pierre‐Louis Vézina, 2018. "Migrant Networks and Trade: The Vietnamese Boat People as a Natural Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 210-234, July.
    14. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    15. Javorcik, Beata S. & Özden, Çaglar & Spatareanu, Mariana & Neagu, Cristina, 2011. "Migrant networks and foreign direct investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 231-241, March.
    16. Dany Bahar & Hillel Rapoport, 2018. "Migration, Knowledge Diffusion and the Comparative Advantage of Nations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 273-305, July.
    17. Michel Beine & Khalid Sekkat, 2013. "Skilled migration and the transfer of institutional norms," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, December.
    18. Amelie Constant & Bienvenue N. Tien, 2010. "African Leaders: Their Education Abroad and FDI Flows," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1087, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    19. Michael Clemens & Satish Chand, 2008. "Human Capital Investment under Exit Options: Evidence from a Natural Quasi-Experiment," Working Papers 152, Center for Global Development, revised Feb 2019.
    20. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
    21. repec:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:600:p:495-521 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Cansin Arslan & Jean-Christophe Dumont & Zovanga Kone & Yasser Moullan & Caglar Ozden & Christopher Parsons & Theodora Xenogiani, 2015. "A New Profile of Migrants in the Aftermath of the Recent Economic Crisis," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 160, OECD Publishing.
    23. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Toubal, Farid, 2012. "Revisiting the Trade-Migration Nexus: Evidence from New OECD Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 928-937.
    24. Francesco Forte & Ram Mudambi & Pietro Maria Navarra (ed.), 2014. "A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14898, November.
    25. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-668, September.
    26. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon? A Survey of the Literature," NBER Chapters,in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 235-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Lange, Fabian & Topel, Robert, 2006. "The Social Value of Education and Human Capital," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    28. repec:bla:jorssa:v:156:y:1993:i:3:p:379-392 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, June.
    30. Comin, Diego & Dmitriev, Mikhail & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2012. "The Spatial Diffusion of Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 9208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    31. Benjamin F. Jones, 2014. "The Human Capital Stock: A Generalized Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(11), pages 3752-3777, November.
    32. Varian, H.R., 1993. "What Use is Economic Theory?," Papers 93-14, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    33. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    34. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 339-375, May.
    35. Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), 2005. "Handbook of Economic Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, July.
    36. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
    37. 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.
    38. 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.
    39. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    40. Maryam Naghsh Nejad & Andrew T. Young, 2014. "Female Brain Drains and Women's Rights Gaps : A Gravity Model Analysis of Bilateral Migration Flows," Working Papers 14-10, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    41. Toman Barsbai & Hillel Rapoport & Andreas Steinmayr & Christoph Trebesch, 2017. "The Effect of Labor Migration on the Diffusion of Democracy: Evidence from a Former Soviet Republic," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 36-69, July.
    42. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Rodriguez, Carlos, 1975. "Welfare-theoretical analyses of the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 195-221, September.
    43. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    44. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    45. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    46. William R. Kerr, 2008. "Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 518-537, August.
    47. Elisabetta Lodigiani & Luca Marchiori & I-Ling Shen, 2016. "Revisiting the Brain Drain Literature with Insights from a Dynamic General Equilibrium World Model," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 557-573, April.
    48. Yingqi Wei & V. N. Balasubramanyam, 2006. "Diaspora and Development," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(11), pages 1599-1609, November.
    49. Jean-Christophe Dumont & Georges Lamaitre, 2006. "Counting Immigrants and Expatriates in OECD Countries: A New Perspective," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2005(1), pages 49-83.
    50. Marion Mercier, 2013. "The Return of the Prodigy Son: Do Return Migrants make Better Leaders?," Working Papers halshs-00907277, HAL.
    51. Michael A. Clemens & Colum Graham & Stephen Howes, 2015. "Skill Development and Regional Mobility: Lessons from the Australia-Pacific Technical College," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(11), pages 1502-1517, November.
    52. Antwi, James & Phillips, David C., 2013. "Wages and health worker retention: Evidence from public sector wage reforms in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 101-115.
    53. Samuel Bazzi & Michael A. Clemens, 2013. "Blunt Instruments: Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Identifying the Causes of Economic Growth," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 152-186, April.
    54. Jean-Christophe Dumont & Georges Lemaître, 2005. "Counting Immigrants and Expatriates in OECD Countries: A New Perspective," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 25, OECD Publishing.
    55. Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2, June.
    56. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
    57. Brian Snowdon, 2015. "The role of human capital in economic development," Chapters,in: Handbook of International Development and Education, chapter 4, pages 47-76 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    58. Satish Chand & Michael A. Clemens, 2008. "Skilled emigration and skill creation: A quasi-experiment," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec08-05, International and Development Economics.
    59. Olena Ivus & Alireza Naghavi, 2014. "Migration, technology diffusion and institutional development at the origin," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 10, pages 267-287 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Brain drain; Recruitment; Poverty; Regional development; Skilled workers; Public policy; Labour market; Migrant workers; Immigration; Skills shortages;

    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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:37:y:2016:i:7:p:1227-1248. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman). General contact details of provider: http://www.emeraldinsight.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.