Reference : On the Robustness of Brain Drain Estimates
Scientific journals : Article
Business & economic sciences : International economics
On the Robustness of Brain Drain Estimates
Beine, Michel mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Center for Research in Economic Analysis (CREA) >]
Docquier, Frédéric [> >]
Rapoport, Hillel [> >]
Annales d'Economie et de Statistique
Association pour le développement de la recherche en économie et en statistique
[en] Brain drain ; Brain gain ; Esimation ; International Migration
[en] Recent theoretical studies suggest that migration prospects can raise the ex-
pected return to human capital and thus foster education investment at home
or, in other words, induce a brain gain. In a recent paper we used the Docquier
and Marfouk (2006) data set on emigration rates by education level to examine
the impact of brain drain migration on gross (pre-migration) human capital for-
mation in developing countries. We found a positive e¤ect of skilled migration
prospects on human capital growth in a cross-section of 127 developing coun-
tries, with a short-run elasticity of about 5 percent. In this paper we assess
the robustness of our results to the use of alternative brain drain measures,
de nitions of human capital, and functional forms. We nd that the results
hold using alternative brain drain measures controlling for whether migrants
acquired their skills in the home or in the host country. We also regress other
indicators of human capital investment on skilled migration rates and nd a
positive e¤ect on youth literacy while the e¤ect on school enrolment depends
on the exact functional speci cation chosen. Finally, we nd our resuls to be
robust to using the ratio of skilled to unskilled migration rates (instead of just
the former) and to controlling for the demoraphic structure of the population.

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