International Migration, the Brain Drain and Poverty: A Cross-Country Analysis

23 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009

See all articles by Cristina Cattaneo

Cristina Cattaneo

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici

Abstract

The aim of the paper is threefold. First, it empirically investigates the effect of international migration on poverty in origin countries, using data from a cross-country analysis. Second, it explores the specific part of the income distribution from which migrants are drawn, by comparing the effect of international migration on different income quintiles of the population. Finally, given that the selection of migrants depends not only on the income level of their households, but also on the skill levels of movers, the paper casts some light on the implications of the emigration of skilled workers on poverty. This article shows that the stock of international migrants have a positive effect on the income of the poor while it does not have a significant impact on the income of the middle and top quintiles of the population. In particular, a 10 per cent increase in the per capita stock of migrants resident in OECD nations augments the income of the poor by 1 per cent, on average and ceteris paribus. Finally, the poverty-reducing effect of migration holds even when the emigration process selects the best and the brightest.

Suggested Citation

Cattaneo, Cristina, International Migration, the Brain Drain and Poverty: A Cross-Country Analysis. World Economy, Vol. 32, Issue 8, pp. 1180-1202, August 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1489074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9701.2009.01178.x

Cristina Cattaneo (Contact Author)

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici ( email )

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