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Beneficial Brain Drain and Non-Migrants' Welfare

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  • Schiff, Maurice

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

Though a net brain gain has tended to be seen as a benefit and referred to as a 'beneficial brain drain' in the literature, its welfare impact for source country residents – or non-migrants – is at best ambiguous. Increased educational investment in response to a brain drain is equivalent to a bet where migrants (M) win and where the impact on residents (R) – whose well-being is a concern for the government – is ambiguous or negative. I compare residents' welfare a) for an open vs. a closed economy, b) under the presence or absence of education externality, c) with vs. without government intervention, and d) with government's concern equal for R and M (R = M) or greater for R (R > M). Main findings are: i) residents lose under an open economy in four of the five scenarios considered, with an ambiguous result under an externality and no intervention; ii) optimal education policy has a positive or ambiguous impact on residents' welfare (and a positive impact under a closed economy); and iii) welfare is higher under intervention when R > M than when R = M. It is worth noting that, though the standard developing country policy of subsidizing higher education is optimal under an education externality in the case of a closed economy, this result need not hold under an open economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Schiff, Maurice, 2018. "Beneficial Brain Drain and Non-Migrants' Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 11483, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11483
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ça?lar Özden & Maurice Schiff, 2006. "International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6929.
    2. Maurice Schiff, 2017. "Ability drain: size, impact, and comparison with brain drain under alternative immigration policies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 1337-1354, October.
    3. Javorcik, Beata S. & Özden, Çaglar & Spatareanu, Mariana & Neagu, Cristina, 2011. "Migrant networks and foreign direct investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 231-241, March.
    4. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
    5. Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, April.
    6. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
    7. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    brain drain; net brain gain; education policy; source country residents; welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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