How Large is the 'Brain Drain' from Italy?

37 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2003

See all articles by Sascha O. Becker

Sascha O. Becker

University of Warwick; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Andrea Ichino

University of Bologna

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

Using a comprehensive and newly organized dataset the present article shows that the human capital content of emigrants from Italy significantly increased during the 1990's. This is even more dramatically the case if we consider emigrating college graduates, whose share relative to total emigrants quadrupled between 1990 and 1998. As a result, since the mid-1990's the share of college graduates among emigrants from Italy has become larger than that share among residents of Italy. In the late nineties, between 3% and 5% of the new college graduates from Italy was dispersed abroad each year. Some preliminary international comparisons show that the nineties have only worsened a problem of "brain drain" that is unique to Italy, while other large economies in the European Union seem to experience a "brain exchange". While we do not search for an explanation of this phenomenon, we characterize such an increase in emigration of college graduates as pervasive across age groups and areas of emigration (the North and the South of the country). We also find a tendency during the 1990's towards increasing emigration of young people (below 45) and of people from Northern regions.

JEL Classification: F22

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Ichino, Andrea and Peri, Giovanni, How Large is the 'Brain Drain' from Italy? (January 2003). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 839. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=378522

Sascha O. Becker (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sobecker.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Munich
Germany

Andrea Ichino

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy
+39 349 5965919 (Phone)

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-3033 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

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