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Emigration of Highly Skilled Labor: Determinants & Impacts

  • Driouchi, Ahmed
  • Boboc, Cristina
  • Zouag, Nada

This is an additional contribution to the large body of literature developed in the area of economics of skilled labor migration. It focuses on two major objectives that are the determinants of the migration and its likely impacts on developing economies. Within the framework of the new economics of skilled labor migration, this research has attempted to test empirically the relevance of some components of the most recent new economic models of skilled labor migration. Using available data from international organizations (World Bank, OECD, UNESCO…) and others, in both regressions analyzes and economic simulations, hypotheses have been tested and directions of empirical results identified for larger policy discussions. The theoretical models that have been given priority in these empirical investigations are mainly those of Beine & al, Stark (2005) & al, N. Duc Thanh (2004) and M. Schiff (2005). A major focus has been placed on the models suggested by Duc Thanh (2004) where useful specifications of the functional forms were made. This selected framework uses the similarities that have been observed between this model and that of Stark and Schiff. The empirical results that have been obtained confirm the role of relative wages, the availability of better opportunities such as jobs, the importance of the living conditions as well as the existence of more attractive working conditions in destination countries relative to source economies. Concerning the estimation of the impacts of skilled labor migrations for both developed and developing economies, the specifications have followed Beine, Stark and Duc Thanh models with special emphasis placed on this latter. Given the dynamic nature of Beine’s model and with the limits on the available time series, significant empirical results are obtained and tests of Beine’s propositions achieved. The regressions results using the subcomponent of the knowledge economic index have shown significantly the effects of both domestic education and the attractiveness of foreign relative wages as major determinants that support the explanation of the level of knowledge added by the tertiary sector in each economy. In the sense of these estimations, it appears clearly that any economy is under two major opposite effects. On one hand, there is the relative share of investment in education that affects positively the human capital formation in any country but with higher impact in developing economies. On the other hand, there is the magnitude of the relative wages that negatively affect the performance of developing economies as measured by the subcomponent of the knowledge economic index. These results have been first confirmed through regression analysis. These preliminary findings suggest that local, national, regional and international economic policies consider the new theoretical and empirical trends shown so far by these results.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21567.

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Date of creation: 16 Sep 2009
Date of revision: 23 Mar 2010
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21567
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  1. Michel, BEINE & Frédéric, DOCQUIER & Hillel, RAPOPORT, 2006. "Brain drain and human capital formation in developing countries : winners and losers," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006023, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  2. Wong, Kar-yiu & Yip, Chong Kee, 1999. "Education, economic growth, and brain drain," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 699-726, April.
  3. Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Skilled Migration: The Perspective of Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2873, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Faini, Riccardo, 2003. "Is the Brain Drain an Unmitigated Blessing?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  5. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A Brain Gain with a Brain Drain," Economics Series 45, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  6. Kwok, Peter & Leland, Hayne, 1984. "Migration and Asymmetric Information: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 535, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Michael A. Clemens & Gunilla Pettersson, 2006. "A New Database of Health Professional Emigration from Africa," Working Papers 95, Center for Global Development.
  9. Prachi Mishra, 2006. "Emigration and Brain Drain; Evidence From the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 06/25, International Monetary Fund.
  10. George E. Johnson, 1980. "The labor market effects of immigration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(3), pages 331-341, April.
  11. Nadeem U. Haque & Se-Jik Kim, 1995. "“Human Capital Flight”: Impact of Migration on Income and Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(3), pages 577-607, September.
  12. Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 1999. "Fuite des cerveaux et formation de capital humain," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 79, pages 63-72.
  13. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  14. Miyagiwa, K., 1989. "Scale Economics In Education And The Brain Drain Problem," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 89-09, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  15. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
  16. 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.
  17. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Jellal, Mohamed & Wollf, François-Charles, 2003. "Effective Cost of Brain Drain," MPRA Paper 29176, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Schiff, Maurice, 2005. "Brain Gain: Claims about Its Size and Impact on Welfare and Growth Are Greatly Exaggerated," IZA Discussion Papers 1599, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Oded Stark, 2005. "The New Economics of the Brain Drain," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(2), pages 137-140, April.
  20. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1990. "Migrants' Savings, the Probability of Return Migration and Migrants' Performance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 463-67, May.
  21. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  22. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  23. Thomas Piketty, 1997. "Immigration et justice sociale," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 48(5), pages 1291-1309.
  24. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Hamada, Koichi, 1982. "Tax policy in the presence of emigration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-317, August.
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