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Brain drain in developing countries

  • Frederic, DOCQUIER

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics)

  • Olivier, LOHEST
  • Abdeslam, MARFOUK

Relying on an original data set on international migration by educational attainment for 1990 and 2000, we analyze the determinants of the brain drain from developing countries. We start from a simple decomposition of the brain drain in two multiplicative components, the degree of openess of sending countries (as measured by their average emigration rate) and the schooling gap (as measured by the relative education level of emigrants compared to natives). Using various regression models, we put forward the determinants of the components and explain cross-country differences in skilled migration. unsurprisingly, the brain drain is strong in small countries which are not too distant from the major OECD regions, which share colonial links with OECD countries and which send most of their migrants to host countries where quality-selective immigration programs exist. More interestingly, the brain drain increases with political instability and the degree of fractionalization at origin; it globally decreases with natives’human capital.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques in its series Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) with number 2007004.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvec:2007004
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  1. Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Skilled migration: the perspective of developing countries," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0710, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Dom?ech, 2002. "Human capital in growth regressions: how much difference does data quality make? An update and further results," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 537.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  4. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 545, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 14 Feb 2003.
  5. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The brain drain: a review of theory and facts," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(1), pages 29-44.
  7. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, . "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  8. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, . "Brain drain and human capital formation in developing countries: winners and losers?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10415, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Schiff, Maurice, 2005. "Brain Gain: Claims about Its Size and Impact on Welfare and Growth Are Greatly Exaggerated," IZA Discussion Papers 1599, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
  11. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-88, April.
  12. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  13. 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.
  14. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C187-C200, March.
  16. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2003. "International migration, remittances, and the brain drain ; a study of 24 labor exporting countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3069, The World Bank.
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