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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. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2000. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Working Papers 0005, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. 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.
  3. Rubinstein, Yona & Weiss, Yoram, 2006. "Post Schooling Wage Growth: Investment, Search and Learning," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  4. Catherine Y. Co & Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2000. "Returns to returning," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 57-79.
  5. Karin Mayr & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Return Migration as Channel of Brain Gain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0804, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. 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.
  7. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2010. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 1-41, 03.
  8. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Return Intentions of Migrants: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 906, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Rosen, Sherwin, 1976. "A Theory of Life Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S45-67, August.
  14. Anna Iara, 2006. "Skill diffusion by temporary migration? Returns to Western European working experience in the EU-accession countries," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0607, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, revised 30 Aug 2006.
  15. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Eric Gould & Omer Moav, 2010. "When is "Too Much" Inequality Not Enough? The Selection of Israeli Emigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1014, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  17. 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.
  18. Eckstein, Zvi & Weiss, Yoram, 2003. "On the Wage Growth of Immigrants: Israel, 1990-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 710, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2000. "The Optimal Migration Duration and Activity Choice after Re-migration," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 00-39, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  20. 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.
  21. 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).
  22. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  23. Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1997. "Stepping-stone mobility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 289-325, June.
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  26. 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.
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  29. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521793100 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  31. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
  32. Alan Barrett & Jean Goggin, 2010. "Returning to the Question of a Wage Premium for Returning Migrants," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 213(1), pages R43-R51, July.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
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  36. John Kennan, 2009. "Higher Education Subsidies and Human Capital Mobility," 2009 Meeting Papers 495, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  37. 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.
  38. Weiss, Yoram, 1971. "Learning by doing and occupational specialization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 189-198, June.
  39. 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.
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