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Optimal Education Policy and Human Capital Accumulation in the Context of Brain Drain

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  • Djajic, Slobodan

    (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

  • Docquier, Frédéric

    (LISER)

  • Michael, Michael S.

    (University of Cyprus)

Abstract

This paper revisits the question of how brain drain affects the optimal education policy of a developing economy. Our framework of analysis highlights the complementarity between public spending on education and students' efforts to acquire human capital in response to career opportunities at home and abroad. Given this complementarity, we find that brain drain has conflicting effects on the optimal provision of public education. A positive response is called for when the international earning differential with destination countries is large, and when the emigration rate is relatively low. In contrast with the findings in the existing literature, our numerical experiments show that these required conditions are in fact present in a large number of developing countries; they are equivalent to those under which an increase in emigration induces a net brain gain. As a further contribution, we study the interaction between the optimal immigration policy of the host country and education policy of the source country in a game-theoretic framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Djajic, Slobodan & Docquier, Frédéric & Michael, Michael S., 2018. "Optimal Education Policy and Human Capital Accumulation in the Context of Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 11806, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11806
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    Cited by:

    1. Docquier, Frédéric & Iftikhar, Zainab, 2019. "Brain drain, informality and inequality: A search-and-matching model for sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 109-125.
    2. Chand, Satish & Clemens, Michael A., 2023. "Human capital investment under exit options: Evidence from a natural quasi-experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).
    3. Annamaria Nifo & Domenico Scalera & Gaetano Vecchione, 2020. "Does skilled migration reduce investment in human capital? An investigation on educational choices in Italian regions (2001–2016)," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 781-802, November.
    4. Laurent Bossavie & Çağlar Özden, 2023. "Impacts of Temporary Migration on Development in Origin Countries," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank, vol. 38(2), pages 249-294.
    5. Bocquier, Philippe & Cha’Ngom, Narcisse & Docquier, Frédéric & Machado, Joël, 2023. "The Within-Country Distribution of Brain Drain and Brain Gain Effects: A Case Study on Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 16497, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Lara Sofía Cantero & Pablo Ariel Szyszko & Joel Heman Bys & Fernando Antonio Ignacio González, 2022. "Programa Mais Médicos y capital humano en Argentina: ¿Fuga de cerebros en el sector salud?," Asociación Argentina de Economía Política: Working Papers 4546, Asociación Argentina de Economía Política.
    7. Narcisse Cha'Ngom & Christoph Deuster & Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado, 2023. "Selective Migration and Economic Development: A Generalized Approach," LISER Working Paper Series 2023-06, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    8. Khraiche, Maroula & Boudreau, James, 2020. "Can lower remittance costs improve human capital accumulation in Africa?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 1000-1021.
    9. Alejandro Vega-Muñoz & Paloma Gónzalez-Gómez-del-Miño & Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia, 2021. "Recognizing New Trends in Brain Drain Studies in the Framework of Global Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(6), pages 1-27, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education policy; migration of skilled workers; immigration policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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