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Skilled emigration, business networks and foreign direct investment

  • Kugler, Maurice
  • Rapoport, Hillel

In a global context foreign direct investment (FDI) and migration substitute one another in the matching process between workers and firms. However, as labor flows can lead to the formation of business networks, migration can actually facilitate FDI in the long-run. We first present a stylized model for a small open economy illustrating these offsetting effects. We then use U.S. data on bilateral labor inflows and capital outflows to measure the extent of contemporaneous substitutability and dynamic complementarity between migration and FDI. We find that brain drain and FDI inflows are negatively correlated contemporaneously but that skilled migration is associated with future increases in FDI inflows. We also find suggestive evidence of substitutability between current migration and FDI for migrants with secondary education, and of complementarity between past migration and FDI for unskilled migrants. Keywords; brain drain, foreign direct investment inflows, migrant ties and business networks

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Paper provided by Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton in its series Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics with number 0503.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:0503
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  1. Jean-Pierre Vidal, 1998. "The effect of emigration on human capital formation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 589-600.
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  10. 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.
  11. Faini, Riccardo, 2004. "Trade Liberalization in a Globalizing World," IZA Discussion Papers 1406, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  14. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2002. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," Working Papers 2002-08, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  15. Ramón López & Maurice Schiff, 1998. "Migration and the Skill composition of the Labor Force: The Impact of Trade Liberalization in LDCs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 318-336, May.
  16. Kugler, Maurice, 2006. "Spillovers from foreign direct investment: Within or between industries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 444-477, August.
  17. Klenow, Peter J. & Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 2005. "Externalities and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 817-861 Elsevier.
  18. 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.
  19. Kugler, Maurice, 2000. "The diffusion of externalities from foreign direct investment: theory ahead of measurement," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0023, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
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