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The Returns to the Brain Drain and Brain Circulation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Some Computations Using Data from Ghana

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  • Yaw Nyarko

Abstract

We look at the decision of the government or "central planner" in the allocation of scarce governmental resources for tertiary education, as well as that for the individual. We provide estimates of the net present values, or cost and benefits. These include costs of tertiary education; the benefits of improved skills of those who remain in the country; and also takes into account the flows of the skilled out of the country (the brain drain) as well as the remittances they bring into the country. Our results are positive for the net benefits relative to costs. Our results suggest that (i) there may be room for creative thinking about the possibility that the brain drain could provide mechanisms for dramatic increases in education levels within African nations; and (ii) by at least one metric, spending by African nations on higher education in this period yielded positive returns on the investment. Our results on the individual decision problem resolve a paradox in the returns to education literature which finds low returns to tertiary education.

Suggested Citation

  • Yaw Nyarko, 2011. "The Returns to the Brain Drain and Brain Circulation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Some Computations Using Data from Ghana," NBER Working Papers 16813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16813
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    1. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2004. "Skilled migration: the perspective of developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3382, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Batista, Catia & McIndoe Calder, Tara & Vicente, Pedro C., 2014. "Return Migration, Self-Selection and Entrepreneurship in Mozambique," IZA Discussion Papers 8195, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Oloufade, Djoulassi K. & Pongou, Roland, 2012. "Dual Citizenship Institution: A Pareto Improvement?," MPRA Paper 40705, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2012.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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