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Medical migration : what can we learn from the UK's perspective ?

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  • Rutten, Martine

Abstract

This paper seeks to determine the macro-economic impacts of migration of skilled medical personnel from a receiving country's perspective. The resource allocation issues are explored in theory, by developing an extension of the Rybczynski theorem in a low-dimension Heckscher-Ohlin framework, and empirically, by developing a static computable general equilibrium model for the United Kingdom with an extended health sector component. Using simple diagrams, an expansion of the health sector by recruiting immigrant skilled workers in certain cases is shown to compare favorably to the (short-term) long-term alternative of using domestic (unskilled) workers. From a formal analysis, changes in non-health outputs are shown to depend on factor-bias and scale effects. The net effects generally are indeterminate. The main finding from the applied model is that importing foreign doctors and nurses into the United Kingdom yields higher overall welfare gains than a generic increase in the National Health Service budget. Welfare gains rise in case of wage protection.

Suggested Citation

  • Rutten, Martine, 2008. "Medical migration : what can we learn from the UK's perspective ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4593, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4593
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kangasniemi, Mari & Winters, L. Alan & Commander, Simon, 2007. "Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 915-923, September.
    2. Tim A. Barmby & Marco G. Ercolani & John G. Treble, 2002. "Sickness Absence: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 315-331, June.
    3. Hamilton, Bob & Whalley, John, 1984. "Efficiency and distributional implications of global restrictions on labour mobility : Calculations and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 61-75.
    4. Martine Rutten, 2009. "The Economic Impact of Medical Migration: An Overview of the Literature," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 291-325, February.
    5. Martin, John P. & Neary, J. Peter, 1980. "Variable labour supply and the pure theory of international trade : An empirical note," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 549-559, November.
    6. Ana María Iregui, 2000. "Efficiency Gains from the Elimination of Global Resstrictions on Labour Mobility: An Analisis Using a Multiregional CGE Model," Borradores de Economia 146, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    7. Schiff, Maurice, 2005. "Brain Gain: Claims about Its Size and Impact on Welfare and Growth Are Greatly Exaggerated," IZA Discussion Papers 1599, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. L. Alan Winters & Terrie L. Walmsley & Zhen Kun Wang & Roman Grynberg, 2003. "Liberalising Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: An Agenda for the Development Round," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(8), pages 1137-1161, August.
    9. Martin, John P, 1976. "Variable Factor Supplies and the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(344), pages 820-831, December.
    10. Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2005. "Relaxing the Restrictions on the Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: A Simulation Analysis," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 20, pages 688-726.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Health Systems Development&Reform; Labor Markets; Population Policies; Health Economics&Finance;

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