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Brainy Africans to Fortress Europe: For Money or Colonial Vestiges?

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  • Amelie F. Constant
  • Bienvenue N. Tien

Abstract

Economic reasons along with cultural affinities and the existence of networks have been the main determinants explaining migration flows between home and host countries. This paper reconsiders these approaches combined with the gravity model and empirically tests the hypothesis that ex-colonial links can still play an important role in the emigration decision. We employ a general linear mixed model, and apply it to the case of skilled, educated and talented Africans, who migrate to Fortress Europe over the period of 1990 to 2001. While we find some differences in the exodus of skilled Africans by sub-regions, the magnitude of the colonial vestige in Africa is a significant determinant of emigration flows. Overall, Portugal is preferred to the UK which is preferred more than Belgium, Germany and Italy. Brainy Africans are, however, indifferent between the UK, France and Spain as a destination country. Established immigrant networks and higher standards of living with job opportunities in the host country are also very important drivers of the emigration of brainy Africans to the European ex-colonial powers.

Suggested Citation

  • Amelie F. Constant & Bienvenue N. Tien, 2009. "Brainy Africans to Fortress Europe: For Money or Colonial Vestiges?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 965, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp965
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Demographic and Economic Pressure on Emigration out of Africa," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 465-486, September.
    2. Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "African Migration to Europe:Obscured Responsibilities and Common Misconceptions," MPRA Paper 3360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Peter J. Kuhn & Carol McAusland, 2006. "The International Migration of Knowledge Workers: When is Brain Drain Beneficial?," NBER Working Papers 12761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John & Oettl, Alexander, 2011. "Brain drain or brain bank? The impact of skilled emigration on poor-country innovation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 43-55, January.
    5. RosalindS. Hunter & Andrew J. Oswald & Bruce G. Charlton, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages 231-251, June.
    6. Abdeslam Marfouk, 2007. "Brain Drain in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 193-218, June.
    7. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Schiff, Maurice, 2008. "Brain Drain and its Determinants: A Major Issue for Small States," IZA Discussion Papers 3398, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.
    9. Hatton, Timothy J & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "Out of Africa? Using the Past to Project African Emigration Pressure in the Future," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 556-573, August.
    10. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amelie Constant & Bienvenue N. Tien, 2010. "African Leaders: Their Education Abroad and FDI Flows," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1087, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Skilled migration; Africa; colonization; networks; economic reasons;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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