On the Robustness of Brain Gain Estimates

29 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2009

See all articles by Michel A. R. Beine

Michel A. R. Beine

University of Luxemburg; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Frédéric Docquier

Université catholique de Louvain; CREAM, Centre for Research on Environmental Appraisal & Management, UK; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Hillel Rapoport

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Stanford University

Abstract

Recent theoretical studies suggest that migration prospects can raise the expected return to human capital and thus foster education investment at home or, in other words, induce a brain gain. In a recent paper (Beine, Docquier and Rapoport, Economic Journal, 2008) 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 formation in developing countries. We found a positive effect of skilled migration prospects on human capital growth in a cross-section of 127 developing countries, with an elasticity of about 5 percent. In this paper we assess the robustness of our results to the use of alternative brain drain measures, definitions of human capital, and functional forms. We find that the results hold using the Beine et al. (2007) 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 find a positive effect on youth literacy while the effect on school enrolment depends on the exact specification chosen.

Keywords: brain drain, brain gain, migration

JEL Classification: F22

Suggested Citation

Beine, Michel A. R. and Docquier, Frédéric and Rapoport, Hillel, On the Robustness of Brain Gain Estimates. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4293. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1434627

Michel A. R. Beine (Contact Author)

University of Luxemburg ( email )

L-1511 Luxembourg
Luxembourg

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Frédéric Docquier

Université catholique de Louvain ( email )

IRES
Place Montesquieu 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://perso.uclouvain.be/frederic.docquier/

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

Hillel Rapoport

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel
+972 3 535 3180 (Fax)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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