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Counting Immigrants and Expatriates in OECD Countries: A New Perspective


  • Jean-Christophe Dumont
  • Georges Lemaître


Results presented in this paper based on the new database on immigrants and expatriates in OECD countries, show that (i) the percentage of the foreign-born in European OECD countries is generally higher than the percentage of foreigners; (ii) international migration is quite selective towards highly skilled migrants; (iii) in most OECD countries, the number of immigrants with tertiary education exceeds the number of highly qualified expatriates to other OECD countries; (iv) among non-member countries the impact of the international mobility of the highly skilled is diverse: the largest developing countries seem not be significantly affected and indeed may benefit from indirect effects associated with this mobility while some of the smallest countries, especially in the Caribbean and in Africa, face significant ‘emigration rates’ of their elites. S'appuyant sur ces informations, l'OCDE a créé une nouvelle base de données sur les immigrés et les expatriés. Les résultats présentés dans ce document montrent que i) le pourcentage des personnes nées à l'étranger dans les pays européens de l'OCDE est généralement plus élevé que celui des étrangers ; ii) les migrations internationales s'orientent de manière sélective vers les migrants hautement qualifiés ; iii) dans la plupart des pays de l'OCDE, le nombre d'immigrés possédant un niveau d'éducation de l'enseignement supérieur dépasse le nombre des expatriés hautement qualifiés vers d'autres pays de l'OCDE ; iv) parmi les pays non membres de l'OCDE, l'impact de la mobilité internationale des travailleurs immigrés hautement qualifiés est diversifié : les grands pays en développement semblent moins affectés et en fait pourraient même bénéficier des effets indirects associés à cette mobilité, alors que certains pays de plus petite taille, spécialement dans les Caraïbes et en Afrique, se trouvent confrontés à des taux d'émigration élevés de leurs élites.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Christophe Dumont & Georges Lemaître, 2005. "Counting Immigrants and Expatriates in OECD Countries: A New Perspective," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 25, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:25-en

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    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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