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Covid-19, Working from Home and the Potential Reverse Brain Drain

Author

Listed:
  • Irina Bakalova
  • Ruxanda Berlinschi
  • Jan Fidrmuc
  • Yuri Dzjuba

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial increase in the prevalence of working from home among white-collar occupations. This can have important implications for the future of the workplace and quality of life. We discuss an additional implication, which we label reverse brain drain: the possibility that white-collar migrant workers return to live in their countries of origin while continuing to work for employers in their countries of destination. We estimate the potential size of this reverse flow using data from the European Labor Force Survey. Our estimates suggest that the UK, France, Switzerland and Germany each have around half a million skilled migrants who could perform their jobs from their home countries. Most of them originate from the other EU member states: both old and new. We discuss the potential economic, social and political implications of such reverse brain drain.

Suggested Citation

  • Irina Bakalova & Ruxanda Berlinschi & Jan Fidrmuc & Yuri Dzjuba, 2021. "Covid-19, Working from Home and the Potential Reverse Brain Drain," CESifo Working Paper Series 9104, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9104
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barrero, Jose Maria & Bloom, Nick & Davis, Steven J., 2020. "Why Working From Home Will Stick," SocArXiv wfdbe, Center for Open Science.
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    4. Adams-Prassl, A. & Boneva, T. & Golin, M & Rauh, C., 2020. "Inequality in the Impact of the Coronavirus Shock: New Survey Evidence for the UK," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2023, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Alan Felstead & Nick Jewson & Sally Walters, 2003. "Managerial Control of Employees Working at Home," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 241-264, June.
    6. Charles Gottlieb & Jan Grobovsek & Markus Poschke, 2020. "Working from Home across Countries," Cahiers de recherche 07-2020, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    7. Alexander W. Bartik & Zoe B. Cullen & Edward L. Glaeser & Michael Luca & Christopher T. Stanton, 2020. "What Jobs are Being Done at Home During the Covid-19 Crisis? Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys," NBER Working Papers 27422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; working from home; return migration; brain drain;
    All these keywords.

    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

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