International Student Flows from Developing Countries: Do Donors Have an Impact?

40 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2019

See all articles by Mauro Lanati

Mauro Lanati

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Rainer Thiele

Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

International student flows from emerging and developing countries have grown tremendously over the last decades. In this paper, we address the question of whether donors, who might care about the potential brain drain effects student emigration entails in the countries of origin, can affect the student outflows through their foreign aid activities. Employing standard gravity-type approaches of international migration, we separately analyse the impact of scholarships for students from developing countries, and of development projects in recipient countries aimed at improving the local quality of tertiary education. We find that these two types of post-secondary aid lead to opposite effects on student mobility. Investing in the quality of tertiary education in recipient countries appears to be associated with lower outflows of tertiary educated students to donor countries, which corroborates previous research showing that aid may reduce emigration from developing countries if it improves public services. The provision of in-donor scholarships obviously raises student mobility for the duration of the university education abroad, but our results suggest that the student inflows also translate into permanent immigration of highly educated people.

Keywords: Aid, International Student Mobility, Permanent Immigration

JEL Classification: F22, F35, O15

Suggested Citation

Lanati, Mauro and Thiele, Rainer, International Student Flows from Developing Countries: Do Donors Have an Impact? (July 2019). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2019/49. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3425918 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3425918

Mauro Lanati (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Rainer Thiele

Kiel Institute for the World Economy ( email )

P.O. Box 4309
Kiel, D-24100
Germany
+49 431 8814 215 (Phone)
+49 431 8814 500 (Fax)

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