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Eight questions about brain drain

John Gibson () and David McKenzie ()

No 5668, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: High-skilled emigration is an emotive issue that in popular discourse is often referred to as brain drain, conjuring images of extremely negative impacts on developing countries. Recent discussions of brain gain, diaspora effects, and other advantages of migration have been used to argue against this, but much of the discussion has been absent of evidence. This paper builds upon a new wave of empirical research to answer eight key questions underlying much of the brain drain debate: 1) What is brain drain? 2) Why should economists care about it? 3) Is brain drain increasing? 4) Is there a positive relationship between skilled and unskilled migration? 5) What makes brain drain more likely? 6) Does brain gain exist? 7) Do high-skilled workers remit, invest, and share knowledge back home? and 8) What do we know about the fiscal and production externalities of brain drain?

Keywords: Population Policies; Tertiary Education; International Migration; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Remittances (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa and nep-mig
Date: 2011-05-01
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Journal Article: Eight Questions about Brain Drain (2011) Downloads
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Working Paper: Eight Questions about Brain Drain (2011) Downloads
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