The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon?

38 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2003

See all articles by Simon John Commander

Simon John Commander

London Business School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mari Kangasniemi

University of Sussex

L. Alan Winters

University of Sussex; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: June 2003

Abstract

The migration of skilled individuals from developing countries has typically been considered to be costly for the sending country, due to lost investments in education, high fiscal costs and labour market distortions. Economic theory, however, raises the possibility of a beneficial brain drain primarily through improved incentives to acquire human capital. Our survey of empirical and theoretical work shows under what circumstances a developing country can benefit from skilled migration. It argues that the sectoral aspects of migration and screening of migrants in the receiving country are of major importance in determining the welfare implications of the brain drain. These issues, as well as the size of the sending country, duration of migration and the effect of diaspora populations, should be addressed in future empirical work on skilled migration.

Keywords: Brain Drain, Migration, Globalization

JEL Classification: J6, F2, O1

Suggested Citation

Commander, Simon John and Kangasniemi, Mari and Winters, L. Alan Alan, The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon? (June 2003). IZA Discussion Paper No. 809. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=422547

Simon John Commander (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Mari Kangasniemi

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

L. Alan Alan Winters

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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