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Skilled Emigration, Business Networks and Foreign Direct Investment

  • Maurice Kugler
  • Hillel Rapoport

In a global context foreign direct investment (FDI) and migration substitute one another in the matching process between workers and firms. However, as labor flows can lead to the formation of business networks, migration can actually facilitate FDI in the long-run. We first present a stylized model for a small open economy illustrating these offsetting effects. We then use U.S. data on bilateral labor inflows and capital outflows to measure the extent of contemporaneous substitutability and dynamic complementarity between migration and FDI. We find that brain drain and FDI inflows are negatively correlated contemporaneously but that skilled migration is associated with future increases in FDI inflows. We also find suggestive evidence of substitutability between current migration and FDI for migrants with secondary education, and of complementarity between past migration and FDI for unskilled migrants.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1455.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1455
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  1. Ramón López & Maurice Schiff, 1998. "Migration and the Skill composition of the Labor Force: The Impact of Trade Liberalization in LDCs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 318-336, May.
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  17. McCulloch, Rachel & Yellen, Janet L, 1977. "Factor Mobility, Regional Development, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 79-96, February.
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