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The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon?

  • Commander, Simon

    ()

    (IE Business School, Altura Partners)

  • Kangasniemi, Mari

    ()

    (London School of Economics)

  • Winters, L. Alan

    ()

    (University of Sussex)

The migration of skilled individuals from developing countries has typically been considered to be costly for the sending country, due to lost investments in education, high fiscal costs and labour market distortions. Economic theory, however, raises the possibility of a beneficial brain drain primarily through improved incentives to acquire human capital. Our survey of empirical and theoretical work shows under what circumstances a developing country can benefit from skilled migration. It argues that the sectoral aspects of migration and screening of migrants in the receiving country are of major importance in determining the welfare implications of the brain drain. These issues, as well as the size of the sending country, duration of migration and the effect of diaspora populations, should be addressed in future empirical work on skilled migration. JEL

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 809.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: R. Baldwin and L. A. Winters (eds.), Challenges to Globalisation. NBER and University of Chicago Press, 2004
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp809
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