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Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers

  • Beine, Michel

    ()

    (University of Luxembourg)

  • Docquier, Frédéric

    ()

    (Université catholique de Louvain)

  • Rapoport, Hillel

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics)

We present an empirical evaluation of the growth effects of the brain drain for the source countries of migrants. Using recent US data on migration rates by education levels (Carrington and Detragiache, 1998), we find empirical support for the ”beneficial brain drain hypothesis” in a cross-section of 50 developing countries. At the country-level, we find that most countries combining low levels of human capital and low migration rates of skilled workers tend to be positively affected by the brain drain. By contrast, the brain drain appears to have negative growth effects in countries where the migration rate of the highly educated is above 20% and/or where the proportion of people with higher education is above 5%. While the number of winners is smaller, these include nearly 80% of the total population of the sample.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 819.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp819
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  1. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Galor, O. & Tsiddon, D., 1996. "The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Papers 18-96, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
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  7. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  8. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  9. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  10. Miyagiwa, K., 1989. "Scale Economics In Education And The Brain Drain Problem," Working Papers 89-09, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  11. Manon Domingues Dos Santos & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2003. "Migration as a source of growth: The perspective of a developing country," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 161-175, 02.
  12. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
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  14. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  15. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. McCulloch, Rachel & Yellen, Janet L, 1977. "Factor Mobility, Regional Development, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 79-96, February.
  17. Usher, Dan, 1977. "Public Property and the Effects of Migration upon Other Residents of the Migrants' Countries of Origin and Destination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 1001-20, October.
  18. Funkhouser, Edward, 1995. "Remittances from International Migration: A Comparison of El Salvador and Nicaragua," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 137-46, February.
  19. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
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  21. Kwok, Viem & Leland, Hayne, 1982. "An Economic Model of the Brain Drain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 91-100, March.
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