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Human Capital, Higher Education and Graduate Migration: An Analysis of Scottish and Welsh Students


  • Alessandra Faggian

    (School of Geography, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK,

  • Philip McCann

    (Department of Economics, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand,,, Department of Economics, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AW, UK)

  • Stephen Sheppard

    (Department of Economics, Fernald House, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA,


This paper reports on a model of the sequential migration behaviour of some 76 000 Scottish and Welsh students, from their domicile location to the location of their higher education and on to their employment location. A logit model methodology is employed to analyse the choice of the location of the university attended, whether inside or outside Scotland or Wales. Then, within a GIS framework, migration-on-migration correlations and elasticities are estimated in order to identify the mobility effects of human capital acquisition. The results confirm the DaVanzo hypothesis that subsequent migration is related to previous migration and also the Sjaastad—Becker hypothesis that higher human capital individuals are more geographically mobile. However, there are institutional differences between the two countries which mean that the mobility effects of human capital acquisition have to be interpreted carefully in the light of other economic, geographical and social influences.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann & Stephen Sheppard, 2007. "Human Capital, Higher Education and Graduate Migration: An Analysis of Scottish and Welsh Students," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(13), pages 2511-2528, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:44:y:2007:i:13:p:2511-2528

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