Schooling Forsaken: Education and Migration
36 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019
We examine the phenomenon of forsaken schooling resulting from opportunities abroad. The brain-drain/gain literature takes as its starting point the migration of educated/professional labor from poor origin countries to richer host countries. While high-skilled migration is worrisome, many international migrants accept low-skilled positions in host countries. Their willingness to do so arises from very large host-home earnings differentials. At home this can lead to reduced educational investment as people forgo schooling because of opportunities to migrate to high paying low-skilled jobs.This suggests possible time-inconsistencies between short-run economic gains from migration and negative long-term effects from missing human-capital investment. We analyze data from Tajikistan, where approximately one-third of the labor force works outside of the country. We offer an explanation of our empirical results with a theoretical model, allowing us to establish the circumstances under which this type of forsaken schooling can occur and the trade-offs that policymakers' need consider.
Keywords: migration, traps, poverty, inequality, education, skill
JEL Classification: O15, P46, F22, I24
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