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Determinants of international mobility decision : the case‐study of India


  • Hercog M.
  • Laar M. van de



Faced with a situation in which countries compete for international students, it becomes especially important to understand students preferences regarding migration behaviour. This paper looks at the determinants of international mobility intentions in the specific situation of Indian students in sciences and engineering. It uses data collected from a survey of students at five Indian universities, complemented by qualitative data from interviews. We looked at the role of students personal and family background, universityrelated factors, theirsocial network and preferences for living location in their motivations for moving abroad. The type of university and field of studies work as strong predictors for students desire to move abroad. Whether a student plans a career in academia or wants to work in a company has a decisive influence on where they see themselves in the near future. Professional aspects are confirmed to be the most prominent in the decisionmaking regarding international mobility. People who place high importance on workrelated factors are more mobile, while people who place higher importance on familyfriendly environment and public safety prefer staying in India. International student mobility is clearly a family decision. Parents support is crucial for moving abroad, in moral as well as in financial terms. Normally, obligations towards family are put in first place ahead of potentialindividual initiatives.

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  • Hercog M. & Laar M. van de, 2013. "Determinants of international mobility decision : the case‐study of India," MERIT Working Papers 067, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2013067

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Todaro, Michael P, 1969. "A Model for Labor Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 138-148, March.
    2. Andries de Grip & Didier Fouarge & Jan Sauermann, 2010. "What affects international migration of European science and engineering graduates?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(5), pages 407-421.
    3. Ann Bourke, 2000. "A Model of the Determinants of International Trade in Higher Education," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 110-138, January.
    4. S. Narayan, 2009. "India," Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    More about this item


    International Migration; Higher Education and Research Institutions; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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