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Return Migration, Human Capital Accumulation and the Brain Drain

  • Christian Dustmann

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, University College London)

  • Itzhak Fadlon

    (Department of Economics, Harvard University)

  • Yoram Weiss

    ()

    (The Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University)

In this paper we present a model that explains migrations as decisions that respond to where human capital can be acquired more efficiently, and where the return to human capital is highest. The basic framework is a dynamic Roy model in which a worker possesses two distinct skills that can be augmented by learning by doing. There are different implicit prices, in different countries and different rates of skill accumulation. Our analysis contributes to the literature on the selection of immigrants and return migrants by offering a richer framework that may help to accommodate selection of emigrants and return migrants that are not immediately compatible with the one-dimensional skill model. Our analysis also has implications for the debate on brain drain and brain gain. In the two skills model presented here, return migration can lead to a mitigation of the brain drain, or even the creation of a "brain gain", where those who return bring the home country augmented local skills.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 1013.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1013
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  1. 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.
  2. Rooth, Dan-Olof & Saarela, Jan, 2007. "Selection in migration and return migration: Evidence from micro data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 90-95, January.
  3. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2009. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0918, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1997. "Stepping-stone mobility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 289-325, June.
  6. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2001. "The Optimal Migration Duration and Activity Choice after Re-migration," IZA Discussion Papers 266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. John Kennan, 2009. "Higher Education Subsidies and Human Capital Mobility," 2009 Meeting Papers 495, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Barrett, Alan & Goggin, Jean, 2010. "Returning to the Question of a Wage Premium for Returning Migrants," Papers WP337, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  9. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Karin Mayr & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Return Migration as a Channel of Brain Gain," NBER Working Papers 14039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Djajic, Slobodan, 1989. "Skills and the Pattern of Migration: The Role of Qualitative and Quantitative Restrictions on International Labor Mobility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 795-809, November.
  14. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  15. Barrett, Alan & O'Connell, Philip J., 2000. "Is There a Wage Premium for Returning Irish Migrants?," IZA Discussion Papers 135, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Michéle V.K. Belot & Timothy J. Hatton, 2008. "Immigrant Selection in the OECD," CEPR Discussion Papers 571, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  17. George J. Borjas & Bernt Bratsberg, 1994. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," NBER Working Papers 4913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Anna Iara, 2006. "Skill Diffusion by Temporary Migration? Returns to Western European Working Experience in the EU Accession Countries," Development Working Papers 210, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  19. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A, 1993. "Immigrant Selectivity and Wages: The Evidence for Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 986-93, September.
  20. Rosen, Sherwin, 1976. "A Theory of Life Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S45-67, August.
  21. Rosen, Sherwin, 1972. "Learning by Experience as Joint Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 366-82, August.
  22. Frederic DOCQUIER & Hillel RAPOPORT, 2009. "Documenting the brain drain of « la creme de la creme »: Three case-studies on international migration at the upper tail of the education distribution," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2009031, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  23. Eckstein, Zvi & Weiss, Yoram, 2003. "On the Wage Growth of Immigrants: Israel, 1990-2000," CEPR Discussion Papers 3770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  25. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Return Intentions of Migrants: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 906, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
  27. David H. Autor & Michael J. Handel, 2009. "Putting Tasks to the Test: Human Capital, Job Tasks and Wages," NBER Working Papers 15116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  29. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2000. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Working Papers 0005, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  30. Ira N. Gang & Catherine Y. Co & Myeong-Su Yun, 1999. "Returns to Returning," Departmental Working Papers 199813, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  31. Manon Domingues Dos Santos & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2003. "Migration as a source of growth: The perspective of a developing country," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 161-175, 02.
  32. Weiss, Yoram, 1971. "Learning by doing and occupational specialization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 189-198, June.
  33. Augustin De Coulon & Matloob Piracha, 2003. "Self-selection and the performance of return migrants: the source country perspective," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20040, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  34. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  35. Christian Dustmann & Yoram Weiss, 2007. "Return Migration: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 236-256, 06.
  36. Gould, Eric D & Moav, Omer, 2008. "When is "Too Much" Inequality Not Enough? The Selection of Israeli Emigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 6955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  37. 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.
  38. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  39. Rubinstein, Yona & Weiss, Yoram, 2006. "Post Schooling Wage Growth: Investment, Search and Learning," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  40. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521793100 is not listed on IDEAS
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