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Schooling Forsaken: Education and Migration

Ilhom Abdulloev (), Gil Epstein () and Ira Gang ()
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Ilhom Abdulloev: Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, Tajikistan

No 12088, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: 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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O15 P46 F22 I24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int and nep-mig
Date: 2019-01
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