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On the robustness of brain gain estimates

Author

Listed:
  • Michel BEINE

    (UNIVERSITY OF LUXEMBURG and CES-Ifo)

  • Frederic DOCQUIER

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and FNRS)

  • Hillel RAPOPORT

    (Department of Economics, BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY, EQUIPPE (Universités de Lille))

Abstract

Recent theoretical studies suggest that migration prospects can raise the expected return to human capital and thus foster education investment at home or, in other words, induce a brain gain. In a recent paper (Beine, Docquier and Rapoport, Economic Journal, 2008) we used the Docquier and Marfouk (2006) data set on emigration rates by education level to examine the impact of brain drain migration on gross (pre-migration) human capital formation in developing countries. We found a positive effect of skilled migration prospects on human capital growth in a cross-section of 127 developing countries, with an elasticity of about 5 percent. In this paper we assess the robustness of our results to the use of alternative brain drain measures, definitions of human capital, and functional forms. We find that the results hold using the Beine et al. (2007) alternative brain drain measures controlling for whether migrants acquired their skills in the home or in the host country. We also regress other indicators of human capital investment on skilled migration rates and find a positive effect on youth literacy while the effect on school enrolment depends on the exact specification chosen.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel BEINE & Frederic DOCQUIER & Hillel RAPOPORT, 2009. "On the robustness of brain gain estimates," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2009018, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2009018
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    File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/2009018.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2004. "Skilled migration: the perspective of developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3382, The World Bank.
    2. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2003. "Endogenous discrimination, migration prospects and the protection of ethnic minorities," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 71-72, pages 19-78.
    3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
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    5. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 43-57, January.
    6. Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, April.
    7. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    8. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Ethnic discrimination and the migration of skilled labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 159-172, February.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    2. Mountford, Andrew & Rapoport, Hillel, 2011. "The brain drain and the world distribution of income," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 4-17, May.
    3. Lee, Neil & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés & von Berlepsch, Viola, 2018. "A woman's touch? Female migration and economic development in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 12878, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2012. "Globalization, Brain Drain, and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 681-730, September.
    5. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    6. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    7. Calvin Z. Djiofack & Eric W. Djimeu & Matthieu Boussichas, 2014. "Editor's choice Impact of Qualified Worker Emigration on Poverty: A Macro–Micro-Simulation Approach for an African Economy," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(1), pages 1-52.
    8. Antwi, James & Phillips, David C., 2013. "Wages and health worker retention: Evidence from public sector wage reforms in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 101-115.
    9. Chiara Falco, 2015. "Education and migration: empirical evidence from Ecuador," Working Papers 297, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2015.
    10. Zhang, Yi & Matz, Julia Anna, 2017. "On the train to brain gain in rural China," Discussion Papers 252443, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    11. Cécily Defoort & Carine Drapier, 2012. "Immigration and its dependence on the welfare system: the case of France," Working Papers hal-00995293, HAL.
    12. Berlinschi, Ruxanda & Schokkaert, Jeroen & Swinnen, Johan, 2013. "When drains and gains coincide: Migration and international football performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 1-14.
    13. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:52:y:2017:i:3:p:859-885 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Docquier, Frédéric & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rapoport, Hillel & Schiff, Maurice, 2016. "Emigration and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 209-223.
    15. Driouchi, Ahmed & Kadiri, Molk, 2010. "Emigration of Skilled Labor under Risk Aversion: The Case of Medical Doctors from Middle Eastern and North African Economies," MPRA Paper 22810, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 May 2010.
    16. Slobodan Djajić & Michael S. Michael, 2014. "International Migration of Skilled Workers with Endogenous Policies," IHEID Working Papers 09-2014, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    17. Shyam Gouri Suresh, 2015. "The Aggregate and Distributional Effects of Migration Policies: A Multifaceted Analysis," Working Papers 15-01, Davidson College, Department of Economics.
    18. Yao Pan, 2017. "The Impact of Removing Selective Migration Restrictions on Education: Evidence from China," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(3), pages 859-885.
    19. Ahmed, S. Amer & Go,Delfin Sia & Willenbockel,Dirk Andreas, 2016. "Global migration revisited : short-term pains, long-term gains, and the potential of south-south migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7628, The World Bank.

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    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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