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Skilled migration and growth. Testing brain drain and brain gain theories

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Abstract

The economic effects of the migration of skilled workers from developing countries are highly controversial in the theoretical literature. Traditional models on the brain drain phenomenon stress the negative impact on growth, while new models introduce the possibility of a brain gain for labor exporting economies through indirect channels (i.e. increased incentives for those individuals left behind to accumulate human capital), or direct channels (such as remittances, return migration or FDI and trade linkages). Using a new dataset on the educational level of the migration workforce into the OECD, we test the hypothesis of brain gain estimating a growth equation and a human capital equation. We reject the hypothesis of brain gain in all the cases. The results confirm that countries which export high skilled labor to rich economies tend to have a lower level of human capital and, hence, worse economic performance.

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  • José Luis Groizard & Joan Llull, 2006. "Skilled migration and growth. Testing brain drain and brain gain theories," DEA Working Papers 20, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubi:deawps:20
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniele Checchi & Gianfranco De Simone & Riccardo Faini, 2007. "Skilled Migration, FDI and Human Capital Investment," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1067, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
    2. Donald Lien, 2007. "Quality assurance program and brain drain," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 59-73.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital formation; international migration; skilled workers; development; source country effects; instrumental variables.;

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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