Skilled Emigration and Skill Creation: A Quasi-Experiment

65 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2014

See all articles by Satish Chand

Satish Chand

Australian National University (ANU) - National Centre for Development Studies (NCDS)

Michael A. Clemens

Center for Global Development; IZA-Institute for the Study of Labor

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 30, 2008

Abstract

Does the emigration of highly-skilled workers deplete local human capital? The answer is not obvious if migration prospects induce human capital formation. We analyze a unique natural quasi-experiment in the Republic of the Fiji Islands, where political shocks have provoked one of the largest recorded exoduses of skilled workers from a developing country. Mass emigration began unexpectedly and has occurred only in a well-defined subset of the population, creating a treatment group that foresaw likely emigration and two different quasi-control groups that did not. We use rich census and administrative microdata to address a range of concerns about experimental validity. This allows plausible causal attribution of post-shock changes in human capital accumulation to changes in emigration patterns. We show that high rates of emigration by tertiary-educated Fiji Islanders not only raised investment in tertiary education in Fiji; they moreover raised the stock of tertiary educated people in Fiji-net of departures.

Keywords: migration, human capital, Fiji

Suggested Citation

Chand, Satish and Clemens, Michael Andrew, Skilled Emigration and Skill Creation: A Quasi-Experiment (September 30, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1299135 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1299135

Satish Chand

Australian National University (ANU) - National Centre for Development Studies (NCDS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 6125 0773 (Phone)
61 2 6257 2886 (Fax)

Michael Andrew Clemens (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

IZA-Institute for the Study of Labor ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/profile?key=4270

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