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

  • Rutten, Martine

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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4593.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4593
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  1. Walmsley, Terri Louise & Winters, L. Alan, 2003. "Relaxing the Restrictions on the Temporary Movements of Natural Persons: A Simulation Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 3719, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters & Simon Commander, 2004. "Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19984, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Iregui, Ana Maria, 2003. "Efficiency Gains from the Elimination of Global Restrictions on Labour Mobility: An Analysis using a Multiregional CGE Model," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Tim A. Barmby & Marco G. Ercolani & John G. Treble, 2002. "Sickness Absence: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F315-F331, June.
  5. Martin, John P, 1976. "Variable Factor Supplies and the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(344), pages 820-31, December.
  6. 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).
  7. 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, 02.
  8. 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.
  9. 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, 08.
  10. 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.
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