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http://ssrn.com/abstract=951917
 
 

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The International Migration of Knowledge Workers: When is Brain Drain Beneficial?


Peter Kuhn


University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Carol McAusland


University of British Columbia (UBC)

December 2006

NBER Working Paper No. w12761

Abstract:     
We consider the welfare effects of the emigration of workers who produce a public good (knowledge). We distinguish between the knowledge diversion and knowledge creation effects of such emigration, and show that the remaining residents of a country can gain from emigration, even when tastes for knowledge goods exhibit a kind of 'home bias'. In contrast to existing models of beneficial brain drain (BBD), our results do not require agglomeration economies, education-related externalities, remittances, return migration, or an emigration 'lottery'. Instead, they are driven purely by the public nature of knowledge goods, combined with differences in market size that induce greater knowledge creation by emigrants abroad than at home. BBD is even more likely in the presence of weak sending-country intellectual property rights (IPRs), or when source country IPR policy is endogenized.

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Date posted: December 22, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Kuhn, Peter and McAusland, Carol, The International Migration of Knowledge Workers: When is Brain Drain Beneficial? (December 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12761. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=951917

Contact Information

Peter J. Kuhn (Contact Author)
University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics ( email )
North Hall 3036
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
(805) 893-3666 (Phone)
(805) 893-8830 (Fax)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Carol McAusland
University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )
2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada
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