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On the Robustness of Brain Gain Estimates

  • Michel Beine


    (University of Luxemburg and CES-Ifo)

  • Frédéric Docquier


    (FNRS and IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Hillel Rapoport


    (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University, EQUIPPE (Universités de Lille) Université Catholique de Louvain, CReAM and CEPREMAP.)

Recent theoretical studies suggest that migration prospects can raise the expected return to human capital and thus foster education investment at home or, in other words, induce a brain gain. In a recent paper (Beine, Docquier and Rapoport, Economic Journal, 2008) we used the Docquier and Marfouk (2006) data set on emigration rates by education level to examine the impact of brain drain migration on gross (pre-migration) human capital formation in developing countries. We found a positive e¤ect of skilled migration prospects on human capital growth in a cross-section of 127 developing countries, with an elasticity of about 5 percent. In this paper we assess the robustness of our results to the use of alternative brain drain measures, de nitions of human capital, and functional forms. We nd that the results hold using the Beine et al. (2007) alternative brain drain measures controlling for whether migrants acquired their skills in the home or in the host country. We also regress other indicators of human capital investment on skilled migration rates and nd a positive e¤ect on youth literacy while the e¤ect on school enrolment depends on the exact speci cation chosen.

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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009-19.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2009-19
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  1. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Migration Selectivity and the Evolution of Spatial Inequality," Working Papers 2004-04, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  2. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 1999. "Fuite des cerveaux et formation du capital humain," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/230707, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  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, 04.
  4. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Ethnic discrimination and the migration of skilled labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 159-172, February.
  5. Faini, Riccardo, 2003. "Is the Brain Drain an Unmitigated Blessing?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Measuring International Skilled Migration: A New Database Controlling for Age of Entry," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 249-254, June.
  7. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  8. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Oded Stark & Christian Helmenstein & Alexia Prskawetz, 1998. "Human Capital Depletion, Human Capital Formation, and Migration: A Blessing in a "Curse"?," Departmental Working Papers _096, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  10. Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
  11. Abigail Barr, 1995. "The missing factor: entrepreneurial networks, enterprises and economic growth in Ghana," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1995-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2003. "Endogenous discrimination, migration prospects, and the protection of ethnic minorities," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/229566, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995. "Stabilization Policy, Learning by Doing, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Klenow, Peter J. & Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 2005. "Externalities and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 817-861 Elsevier.
  15. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2004. "Skilled migration: the perspective of developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3382, The World Bank.
  16. 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.
  17. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  18. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Inflation and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. repec:adr:anecst:y:2003:i:71-72:p:03 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. 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.
  22. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  24. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
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