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North-South Trade-related Technology Diffusion, Brain Drain and Productivity Growth: Are Small States Different?


  • Schiff, Maurice

    () (The World Bank)

  • Wang, Yanling

    () (Carleton Universit)


The economies of small developing states tend to be more fragile than those of large ones. This paper examines this issue in a dynamic context by focusing on the impact of the brain drain on North-South trade-related technology diffusion and total factor productivity growth in small and large states in the South. There are three main findings. First, productivity growth increases with North-South trade-related technology diffusion and education and the interaction between the two, and decreases with the brain drain. Second, the impact of North-South trade-related technology diffusion, education, and their interaction on productivity growth in small states is more than three times that for large countries, with the negative impact of the brain drain thus more than three times greater in small than in large states. And third, the greater loss in productivity growth in small states has two brain drain-related causes: a substantially greater sensitivity of productivity growth to the brain drain, and brain drain levels that are more than five times greater in small than in large states.

Suggested Citation

  • Schiff, Maurice & Wang, Yanling, 2009. "North-South Trade-related Technology Diffusion, Brain Drain and Productivity Growth: Are Small States Different?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4828, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4828

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Maurice Schiff & Yanling Wang, 2008. "North-South and South-South Trade-Related Technology Diffusion: How Important Are They in Improving TFP Growth?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 49-59.
    3. Greenaway, David & Foster, Neil, 2002. "North-South Trade, Knowledge Spillovers and Growth," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 17, pages 650-670.
    4. Maurice Schiff & Yanling Wang, 2006. "North-South and South-South trade-related technology diffusion: an industry-level analysis of direct and indirect effects," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 831-844, August.
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    More about this item


    brain drain; technology diffusion; trade; productivity growth;

    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

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