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Do Brain Drain and Poverty Result from Coordination Failures?

  • David DE LA CROIX


    (IRES and CORE, UCLouvain)

  • Frederic DOCQUIER


    (National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium) and IRES, UCLouvain)

We explore the complementarities between high-skill emigration and poverty in developing countries. We build a model endogenizing human-capital accumulation, high-skill migration and productivity. Two countries sharing the same characteristics may end up either in a “low poverty/low brain drain” path or in a “high poverty/high brain drain” path. After identifying country-specific parameters, we find that, for a majority of countries, the observed equilibrium has higher income than the other possible one. In 22 developing countries (including 20 small states with less than 2 million inhabitants), poverty and high brain drain are worsened by a coordination failure. For 25 other countries, a radical worsening of economic performances is feasible. These results are fairly robust to identification assumptions and the inclusion of a brain-gain mechanism.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2010016.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 04 May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2010016
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