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Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK

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  • Kangasniemi, Mari
  • Winters, L. Alan
  • Commander, Simon

Abstract

The ¿beneficial brain drain¿ hypothesis suggests that skilled migration can be good for a sending country because the incentives it creates for training increase that country¿s supply of skilled labour. To work, this hypothesis requires that the degree of screening of migrants by the host country is limited and that the possibility of migration actually encourages home country residents to obtain education. We studied the implications of doctors¿ migration by conducting a survey among overseas doctors in the UK. The results suggest that the overseas doctors who come to the UK are carefully screened and that only a minority of doctors from developing countries considered the possibility of migration when they chose to obtain medical education. The incentive effect is thus probably not large enough to increase the skills-supply in developing countries. Doctors do, however, remit income to their home countries and many intend to return after completing their training in the UK, so there could be benefits via these routes.

Suggested Citation

  • Kangasniemi, Mari & Winters, L. Alan & Commander, Simon, 2004. "Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19984, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19984
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Oden-Defoort, Cecily, 2011. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Brain Gain," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 523-532, April.
    2. repec:kap:jecgro:v:23:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9153-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Di Maria, Corrado & Lazarova, Emiliya A., 2012. "Migration, Human Capital Formation, and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 938-955.
    4. Docquier, Frédéric & Faye, Ousmane & Pestieau, Pierre, 2008. "Is migration a good substitute for education subsidies?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 263-276, June.
    5. Michel Grignon & Yaw Owusu & Arthur Sweetman, 2013. "The international migration of health professionals," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 4, pages 75-97 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. John E. Roemer & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2016. "Barefoot and footloose doctors: optimal resource allocation in developing countries with medical migration," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(2), pages 335-358, February.
    7. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2012. "Globalization, Brain Drain, and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 681-730, September.
    8. Ernest MIGUELEZ & Claudia NOUMEDEM TEMGOUA, 2017. "Immigration externalities, knowledge flows and brain gain," Cahiers du GREThA 2017-07, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    9. Rutten, Martine, 2008. "Medical migration : what can we learn from the UK's perspective ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4593, The World Bank.
    10. Bhargava, Alok & Docquier, Frédéric & Moullan, Yasser, 2011. "Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 172-183, March.
    11. Marco Delogu & Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado, 2018. "Globalizing labor and the world economy: the role of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 223-258, June.
    12. Huish, Robert, 2009. "How Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine challenges the ethics of physician migration," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 301-304, August.
    13. Okeke, Edward N., 2013. "Brain drain: Do economic conditions “push” doctors out of developing countries?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 169-178.
    14. Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado, 2016. "Global Competition for Attracting Talents and the World Economy," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 530-542, April.
    15. Docquier, Frédéric, 2006. "Brain Drain and Inequality Across Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 2440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Moullan, Yasser, 2009. "Can Health Foreign Assistance Break the Medical Brain Drain?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 22, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    17. Martine Rutten, 2009. "The Economic Impact of Medical Migration: An Overview of the Literature," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 291-325, February.
    18. Elisabetta LODIGIANI, 2009. "Diaspora Externalities as a Cornerstone of the New Brain Drain Literature," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2009036, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    19. Christopher R. Parsons & L. Alan Winters, 2014. "International migration, trade and aid: a survey," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 4, pages 65-112 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    20. Elisabetta Lodigiani & Luca Marchiori & I-Ling Shen, 2016. "Revisiting the Brain Drain Literature with Insights from a Dynamic General Equilibrium World Model," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 557-573, April.
    21. Holdaway, Jennifer & Levitt, Peggy & Fang, Jing & Rajaram, Narasimhan, 2015. "Mobility and health sector development in China and India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 268-276.
    22. Legido-Quigley, Helena & Saliba, Vanessa & McKee, Martin, 2015. "Exploring the experiences of EU qualified doctors working in the United Kingdom: A qualitative study," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(4), pages 494-502.
    23. Boncea Irina, 2013. "Medical Brain Drain - A Theoretical Approach," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 64-71, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    brain drain; international labour market; professional labour markets; doctors; physicians; international migration;

    JEL classification:

    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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