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Geographical analysis of the academic brain drain in Italy

  • Monteleone, Simona


    (University of Catania, Department of Training Processes)

  • Skonieczny, Giorgio

    (University of Catania, Dipartimento di Imprese, Culture e Società)

  • Torrisi, Benedetto

    (University of Catania, Dipartimento di Imprese, Culture e Società)

To study the behavior of Italian researchers living in Italy with a view to creating appropriate policies to tackle the brain drain and discourage academics from emigrating, we constructed a survey based on a sample of 4700 Italian researchers (assistant professors) in several universities in Italy. The outlook is far from rosy: Italian researchers are generally dissatisfied with the economic and social situation of the country. Strong family ties represent the element keeping them at home in Italy. In this regard, no particular differences were noted between the North and South of the country. In analyzing the Italian academic system we identified factors that have greater weight in driving Italian intellectual talent to emigrate: the country’s higher education system leaves all dissatisfied. Furthermore, we discovered other factors that, albeit weak, keep Italian researchers in Italy. However, one wonders how much longer family and national ties will be able to keep Italian skilled agents in Italy, and whether such dissatisfaction may jeopardize the country’s future economic development.

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Paper provided by University of Catania, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods in its series DEMQ Working Paper Series with number 2011/1.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:demqwp:2011_001
Contact details of provider: Postal: Corso Italia 55, 95129 - Catania, Italy
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  1. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2009. "The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0903, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Miyagiwa, Kaz, 1991. "Scale Economies in Education and the Brain Drain Problem," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 743-59, August.
  3. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "How Large Is the "Brain Drain" from Italy?," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(1), pages 1-32, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Hamada, Koichi & Bhagwati, Jagdish, 1975. "Domestic distortions, imperfect information and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 265-279, September.
  6. 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.
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