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Brain Drain and Development Traps

  • Jean-Pascal Bénassy
  • Elise S. Brézis


    (Bar-Ilan University)

This paper links the two fields of “development traps” and “brain drain”. We construct a model which integrates endogenous international migration into a simple growth model. As a result the dynamics of the economy can feature some underdevelopment traps: an economy starting with a low level of human capital can be caught in a vicious circle where low level of human capital leads to low wages, and low wages leads to emigration of valuable human capital. We also show that our model displays a rich array of different dynamic regimes, including the above traps, but other regimes as well, and we link explicitly the nature of the regimes to technology and policy parameters.

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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-03.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2012-03
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  1. Azariadis, Costas & Stachurski, John, 2005. "Poverty Traps," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5 Elsevier.
  2. de la CROIX, David & DOCQUIER, Frédéric, . "Do brain drain and poverty result from coordination failures?," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2387, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Docquier, Frederic & Lowell, B. Lindsay & Marfouk, Abdeslam, 2008. "A gendered assessment of the brain drain," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4613, The World Bank.
  4. Mountford, Andrew & Rapoport, Hillel, 2011. "The brain drain and the world distribution of income," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 4-17, May.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  6. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  7. 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.
  8. John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Working Papers in Economics 10/05, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  9. Elise Brezis & Paul Krugman, 1996. "Immigration, investment, and real wages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(1), pages 83-93, February.
  10. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Eight questions about brain drain," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5668, The World Bank.
  11. Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Globalization, brain drain and development," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1108, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  12. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1998. "Human Capital Depletion, Human Capital Formation, and Migration. A Blessing in a "Curse"?," Economics Series 55, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  13. Stark, Oded, 2003. "Rethinking The Brain Drain," Discussion Papers 18770, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  14. Costas Azariadis & Allan Drazen, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-526.
  15. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
  16. Elise Brezis & Ariel Soueri, 2011. "Why do Students Migrate? Where do they Migrate to?," Working Papers 25, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  20. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  21. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  22. repec:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i::p:339-375 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Kwok, Viem & Leland, Hayne, 1982. "An Economic Model of the Brain Drain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 91-100, March.
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