Brain Drain in Developing Countries

Posted: 16 Jun 2008  

Frédéric Docquier

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); CREAM, Centre for Research on Environmental Appraisal & Management, UK; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abdeslam Marfouk

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

An original data set on international migration by educational attainment for 1990 and 2000 is used to analyze the determinants of brain drain from developing countries. The analysis starts with a simple decomposition of the brain drain in two multiplicative components, the degree of openness of sending countries (measured by the average emigration rate) and the schooling gap (measured by the education level of emigrants compared with natives). Regression models are used to identify the determinants of these components and explain cross-country differences in the migration of skilled workers. Unsurprisingly, the brain drain is strong in small countries that are close to major Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regions, that share colonial links with OECD countries, and that send most of their migrants to countries with quality-selective immigration programs. Interestingly, the brain drain increases with political instability and the degree of fractionalization at origin and decreases with natives' human capital.

Keywords: F22, O15, J24

Suggested Citation

Docquier, Frédéric and Marfouk, Abdeslam, Brain Drain in Developing Countries (2007). The World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 193-218, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1146042 or http://dx.doi.org/lhm008

Frédéric Docquier (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

CREAM, Centre for Research on Environmental Appraisal & Management, UK

University of Newcastle
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Abdeslam Marfouk

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
http://www.vub.ac.be/
Brussels, 1050
Belgium

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