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A Gendered Assessment of the Brain Drain

  • Docquier, Frédéric


    (Université catholique de Louvain)

  • Lowell, B. Lindsay


    (Georgetown University)

  • Marfouk, Abdeslam


    (Free University of Brussels)

This paper updates and extends the Docquier-Marfouk data set on international migration by educational attainment. We use new sources, homogenize definitions of what a migrant is, and compute gender-disaggregated indicators of the brain drain. Emigration stocks and rates are provided by level of schooling and gender for 195 source countries in 1990 and 2000. Our data set can be used to capture the recent trend in women’s brain drain and to analyze its causes and consequences for developing countries. We show that women represent an increasing share of the OECD immigration stock and exhibit relatively higher rates of brain drain than men. The gender gap in skilled migration is strongly correlated with the gender gap in educational attainment at origin. Equating women’s and men’s access to education would probably reduce gender differences in the brain drain.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3235.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Population and Development Review, 2009, 35 (2), 297-321
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3235
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  1. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  2. Cohen, Daniel & Soto, Marcelo, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 3025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Daniele Checchi & Gianfranco De Simone & Riccardo Faini, 2007. "Skilled Migration, FDI and Human Capital Investment," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1067, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
  4. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The brain drain: a review of theory and facts," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(1), pages 29-44.
  5. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Doménech, 2006. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, 03.
  6. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
  7. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2004. "Skilled migration: the perspective of developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3382, The World Bank.
  8. Beata S. Javorcik & Çaglar Özden & Mariana Spatareanu & Cristina Neagu, 2006. "Migrant Networks and Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2006-003, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  9. Marc Debuisson & Frédéric Docquier & Abdul Ghafar Noury & Madeleine Nantcho, 2004. "Immigration and aging in the Belgian régions," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(1), pages 139-157.
  10. Stephen Knowles & Paula K. Lorgelly, 2002. "Are educational gender gaps a brake on economic development? Some cross-country empirical evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 118-149, January.
  11. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2002. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," Working Papers 2002-08, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  13. Andrew R. Morrison & Maurice Schiff & Mirja Sjöblom, 2007. "The International Migration of Women," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6804, September.
  14. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Dom?ech, 2002. "Human capital in growth regressions: how much difference does data quality make? An update and further results," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 537.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  15. Michael A. Clemens & Gunilla Pettersson, 2006. "A New Database of Health Professional Emigration from Africa," Working Papers 95, Center for Global Development.
  16. 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.
  17. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Measuring International Skilled Migration: A New Database Controlling for Age of Entry," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 249-254, June.
  18. Frederic, DOCQUIER & Olivier, LOHEST & Abdeslam, MARFOUK, 2007. "Brain drain in developing countries," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007004, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  19. Michel Beine & Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2006. "Measuring International Skilled Migration: New Estimates Controlling for Age of Entry," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0613, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  20. Coulombe Serge & Tremblay Jean-François, 2006. "Literacy and Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-34, August.
  21. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  22. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," NBER Working Papers 9159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Dumont, Jean-Christophe & Martin, John P. & Spielvogel, Gilles, 2007. "Women on the Move: The Neglected Gender Dimension of the Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 2920, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Blackden, Mark & Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Klasen, Stephan & Lawson, David, 2006. "Gender and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Issues and Evidence," Working Paper Series RP2006/37, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  25. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2003. "International migration, remittances, and the brain drain ; a study of 24 labor exporting countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3069, The World Bank.
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