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Will Transition Countries Benefit or Lose from the Brain Drain?

  • Lundborg, Per

    (Trade Union Institute for Economic Research)

  • Rechea, Calin

    (Department of Economics)

We analyze the theoretical effects on growth and welfare in transition economies of emigration of educated and uneducated labor, of higher emigration probability, etc. Using a Grossman-Helpman growth model, we show that the prospects of labor market integration with the EU raises the expected returns to education, stimulate human capital formation and thus raise the growth rate in the candidate countries. However, given this expected returns, emigration of educated workers tends to lower growth and welfare of those remaining. Thus, while the brain drain reduces welfare, the effects of labor market integration could nevertheless be positive. Emigration of low skilled workers also reduces growth via adverse effects on education. Higher tuition fees, common in transition countries, counteract positive growth effects of market determined wages.

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Paper provided by Trade Union Institute for Economic Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 187.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 27 Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Journal of Economic Development , 2003.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:fiefwp:0187
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  1. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  2. Lundborg, Per & Segerstrom, Paul S., 2002. "The growth and welfare effects of international mass migration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 177-204, January.
  3. Miyagiwa, K., 1989. "Scale Economics In Education And The Brain Drain Problem," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 89-09, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  4. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ledders In The Theory Of Growth," Papers 148, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  5. 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, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  6. Lam, Kit-Chun, 2002. "Interaction between Economic and Political Factors in the Migration Decision," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 488-504, September.
  7. Nadeem U. Haque & Se-Jik Kim, 1995. "“Human Capital Flight”: Impact of Migration on Income and Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(3), pages 577-607, September.
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