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The Brain Drain: an Unmitigated Blessing?


  • Riccardo Faini

    (Italian Ministry of Economy; University of Brescia; IZA and CEPR)


Increasingly, immigration policies tend to favour the entry of skilled workers, raising substantial concerns among sending countries. The “revisionist” approach to the analysis of the brain drain holds that such concerns are largely unwarranted. First, sustained migratory flows may be associated with an equally large flow of remittances. Second, migrants may return home after having acquired a set of productive skills. Finally, the ability to migrate abroad may boost the incentive to acquire skills by home residents. This paper takes a further look at the link between skilled migration, education, and remittances. It finds little support for the revisionist approach. First, a higher skilled content of migration is found to be associated with a lower flow of remittances. Second, there is little evidence suggesting that raising the skill composition of migration has a positive effect on the educational achievements in the home country.

Suggested Citation

  • Riccardo Faini, 2003. "The Brain Drain: an Unmitigated Blessing?," Development Working Papers 173, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:173

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2004. "Skilled migration: the perspective of developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3382, The World Bank.

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