Skilled Emigration and Skill Creation: A Quasi-Experiment

65 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2008

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 micro-data 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=1299141 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1299141

Satish Chand (Contact Author)

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

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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