A Back-Door Brain Drain

ZEF-Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 164

15 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2012  

Oded Stark

University of Bonn; University of Warsaw; University of Tuebingen; Georgetown University

Lukasz Byra

University of Warsaw - Faculty of Economic Sciences

Date Written: April 1, 2012

Abstract

In this paper we study the impact of the international migration of unskilled workers on skill formation and the average skill level in the home country. We analyze what appears to be the least threatening scenario from the point of view of its effect on the supply of skills at home: namely, migration exclusively by unskilled workers. Somewhat surprisingly, we find that even without the departure of skilled workers, the home country suffers reduced aggregate skill formation. Although as a response to a higher wage rate per unit of human capital in the new equilibrium skilled workers choose to accumulate more human capital than before the opening up to migration of unskilled workers, the number and share of skilled workers in the home country’s workforce fall. The combined effect is a decrease in the average level of human capital in the home country.

Keywords: Migration of unskilled workers, Human capital formation, Depletion of human capital

JEL Classification: F22, J24, O15

Suggested Citation

Stark, Oded and Byra, Lukasz, A Back-Door Brain Drain (April 1, 2012). ZEF-Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 164. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2037840

Oded Stark (Contact Author)

University of Bonn ( email )

Walter-Flex-Str. 3
Bonn, NRW 53113
Germany

University of Warsaw ( email )

Dluga Street 44/50
Warsaw, 00-241
Poland

University of Tuebingen

Wilhelmstr. 19
Tuebingen, Baden Wuerttemberg 72074
Germany

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Lukasz Byra

University of Warsaw - Faculty of Economic Sciences ( email )

Dluga Street 44/50
Warsaw, 00-241
Poland
+48 22 55 49 111, +48 22 55 49 (Phone)
+48 22 831 28 46 (Fax)

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