The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries

37 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2012

See all articles by John Gibson

John Gibson

University of Waikato; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

David J. McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 2012

Abstract

This article presents results of innovative surveys that tracked academic high achievers from five countries to wherever they moved in the world to directly measure at the micro level the channels through which high‐skilled emigration affects sending countries. There are high levels of emigration and of return and the income gains to the best and brightest from migrating are an order of magnitude greater than any other effect. Most high‐skilled migrants from poorer countries remit but involvement in trade and foreign direct investment is rare. Fiscal costs vary widely but are much less than the benefits to the migrants themselves.

Suggested Citation

Gibson, John and McKenzie, David John, The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries (May 2012). The Economic Journal, Vol. 122, Issue 560, pp. 339-375, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2042924 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2012.02498.x

John Gibson (Contact Author)

University of Waikato ( email )

Te Raupapa
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton, 3240
New Zealand

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

19 Milne Terrace
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Wellington, 6002
New Zealand

David John McKenzie

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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