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Skilled Migration, FDI and Human Capital Investment


  • Checchi, Daniele

    () (University of Milan)

  • De Simone, Gianfranco

    () (Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli)

  • Faini, Riccardo

    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)


It is commonly believed that accumulation of human capital (HC) and availability of physical and financial capitals are among the major determinants of economic growth. In a globalised world, where factors of production are increasingly mobile, the process of domestic accumulation of HC might be affected in several ways through migration and capital inflows. Furthermore, endowment of skilled labour and foreign direct investments (FDI) may reinforce each other through possible “complementary effects”. Our paper aims to advance the existing empirical literature on the relationship between international factor mobility and domestic accumulation of HC in developing countries. We provide new evidence on how the presence of foreign firms in the domestic economy and the emigration of skilled workers impact the domestic school enrolment. We also investigate whether existing supply of skilled labour is a significant determinant of inward flows of foreign capital. The interdependence between factor mobility and HC accumulation supports some simple back-of-the-envelop calculations aiming to investigate the presence of a virtuous (vicious) circle between HC accumulation and FDI inflows.

Suggested Citation

  • Checchi, Daniele & De Simone, Gianfranco & Faini, Riccardo, 2007. "Skilled Migration, FDI and Human Capital Investment," IZA Discussion Papers 2795, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2795

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. DIACONU MAXIM Laura, 2015. "The Dynamics Of The Fdi Inflows During The Last Three Decades. A Comparative Analysis Between Developing And Developed Countries," Revista Economica, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 67(3), pages 46-62.
    2. Nil Demet Gungor & Aysit Tansel, 2009. "Brain Drain from Turkey: Return Intentions of Skilled Migrants," ERC Working Papers 0902, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Oct 2009.
    3. Stepán Jurajda & Katherine Terrell, 2009. "Regional unemployment and human capital in transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(2), pages 241-274, April.
    4. Mazhar Yasin MUGHAL & Natalia VECHIU, 2010. "The role of Foreign Direct Investment in higher education in the developing countries (Does FDI promote education?)," Working Papers 2010-2011_10, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Nov 2010.
    5. David Procházka & Cristina Procházková Ilinitchi, 2011. "The Theoretical Relationships among Foreign Direct Investments, Migration and IFRS Adoption," European Financial and Accounting Journal, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(4), pages 85-100.
    6. Frederic, DOCQUIER & B. Lindsay, LOWELL & Abdeslam, MARFOUK, 2007. "A gendered assessment of the brain drain," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007045, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    7. Artjoms IVLEVS & Jaime DE MELO, 2015. "FDI, the Brain Drain and Trade: Channels and Evidence," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 21, pages 533-551 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.
    9. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    10. Ana Cuadros & Joan Martín-Montaner & Jordi Paniagua, 2017. "Migration and FDI: The role of job skills," Working Papers 2017/15, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    11. 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).
    12. Asali, Muhammad & Cristobal-Campoamor, Adolfo, 2011. "Optimal foreign direct investment in the presence of human capital formation," MPRA Paper 31460, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Acharyya, Rajat & Kar, Saibal, 2017. "On Asymmetric Migration Patterns from Developing Countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 4, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item


    human capital investment; factor mobility; FDI; brain drain/gain; complementarity effects; developing countries;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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