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Emigration and Brain Drain; Evidence From the Caribbean

  • Prachi Mishra
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    This paper quantifies the magnitude and nature of migration flows from the Caribbean and estimates their costs and benefits. The Caribbean countries have lost 10-40 percent of their labor force due to emigration to OECD member countries. The migration rates are particularly striking for the highskilled. Many countries have lost more than 70 percent of their labor force with more than 12 years of completed schooling-among the highest emigration rates in the world. The region is also the world's largest recipient of remittances as a percent of GDP. Remittances constituted about 13 percent of the region's GDP in 2002. Simple welfare calculations suggest that the losses due to high-skill migration (ceteris paribus) outweigh the official remittances to the Caribbean region. The results suggest that there is indeed some evidence for brain drain from the Caribbean.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/25.

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    Length: 39
    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/25
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    1. Gordon H. Hanson, 2003. "What Has Happened to Wages in Mexico since NAFTA?," NBER Working Papers 9563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Devesh KAPUR, 2004. "Remittances: The New Development Mantra?," G-24 Discussion Papers 29, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    3. John Connell, 2000. "Migration and remittances in island microstates: a comparative perspective on the South Pacific and the Caribbean," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 52-78, 03.
    4. Melissa A. Clark & David Jaeger, 2002. "Natives, the Foreign-Born and High School Equivalents: New Evidence on the Returns to the GED," Working Papers 841, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," IZA Discussion Papers 819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Docquier, Frederic & Marfouk, Abdeslam, 2004. "Measuring the international mobility of skilled workers (1990-2000) : release 1.0," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3381, The World Bank.
    7. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Technological Superiority and the Losses from Migration," NBER Working Papers 8971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. G. D. A. MacDougall, 1960. "THE BENEFITS and COSTS OF PRIVATE INVESTMENT FROM ABROAD: A THEORETICAL APPROACH," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 36(73), pages 13-35, 03.
    10. Lucas, Robert E B, 1987. "Emigration to South Africa's Mines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 313-30, June.
    11. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
    12. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    13. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
    14. Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L., 1989. "The impact of international migration on real wages : Another look," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 185-192, July.
    15. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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