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African brain drain and its impact on source countries: What do we know and what do we need to know?

Author

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  • Capuano, Stella
  • Marfouk, Abdeslam

Abstract

While there appears to be deep and growing concern for the brain drain from Africa, lack of adequate data has so far prevented a comprehensive analysis of its magnitude and its impact on source countries. Using original datasets on international migration, this paper addresses both issues. We show that many African economies lost a consistent part of their highly skilled labor force due to migration to developed countries. We also highlight that significant effort is still needed, in terms of data collection and empirical analysis, before drawing clear conclusions on the effects of the brain drain on Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Capuano, Stella & Marfouk, Abdeslam, 2013. "African brain drain and its impact on source countries: What do we know and what do we need to know?," MPRA Paper 47944, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47944
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frederic, DOCQUIER & B. Lindsay, LOWELL & Abdeslam, MARFOUK, 2007. "A gendered assessment of the brain drain," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007045, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    2. Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2012. "Out of sight, out of mind: Migration, entrepreneurship and social capital," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 890-903.
    3. Docquier, Frédéric & Faye, Ousmane & Pestieau, Pierre, 2008. "Is migration a good substitute for education subsidies?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 263-276, June.
    4. Richard Adams & Marie Alienor van den Bosch & Jennifer Keller & Lili Mottaghi, 2009. "The Impact of Remittances on Growth Evidence from North African Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12985, The World Bank.
    5. repec:cii:cepiei:2010-4td is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321, June.
    7. Jean-Christophe Dumont & Gilles Spielvogel & Sarah Widmaier, 2010. "International Migrants in Developed, Emerging and Developing Countries: An Extended Profile," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 114, OECD Publishing.
    8. Docquier, Frédéric & Marfouk, Abdeslam & Özden, Caglar & Parsons, Christopher, 2011. "Geographic, Gender and Skill Structure of International Migration," MPRA Paper 47917, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Docquier,Frederic & Marfouk,Abdeslam, 2004. "Measuring the international mobility of skilled workers (1990-2000) : release 1.0," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3381, The World Bank.
    10. Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, April.
    11. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
    12. Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina & Özden, Çaglar, 2008. "Brain waste? Educated immigrants in the US labor market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 255-269, October.
    13. José V. Blanes, 2005. "Does Immigration Help to Explain Intra-Industry Trade? Evidence for Spain," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(2), pages 244-270, July.
    14. Xavier Chojnicki & Cécily Oden-Defoort, 2010. "Is there a medical brain drain?," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 124, pages 101-126.
    15. Bhargava, Alok & Docquier, Frédéric & Moullan, Yasser, 2011. "Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 172-183, March.
    16. Dumont, Jean-Christophe & Martin, John P. & Spielvogel, Gilles, 2007. "Women on the Move: The Neglected Gender Dimension of the Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 2920, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Michael A. Clemens & Gunilla Pettersson, 2006. "A New Database of Health Professional Emigration from Africa," Working Papers 95, Center for Global Development.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mawusse K.N. Okey, 2016. "Corruption And Emigration Of Physicians From Africa," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 27-52, June.
    2. Grant Lewison & Philip Roe & Richard Webber & Richard Sullivan, 2016. "Lung cancer researchers, 2008–2013: their sex and ethnicity," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 106(1), pages 105-117, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; International Migration; Human Capital; Labor Mobility; African brain drain;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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