The Brain Drain Between Knowledge-based Economies: the European Human Capital Outflow to the US
This paper uses census data from 1980 to 2006 to study the new European emigration to the US. This emigration is about a small but rising number of individuals. Yet since 1990, emigrants are increasingly selected from the upper tail quality distribution of their source country workforce in terms of education, scientifi c knowledge and, unobservable skills. This nineties surge has been amplifed by the fact that returnees were fewer, older and, if anything, relatively less educated. As for the rationales, I provide preliminary evidence showing that the brain drain refl ects the weakness of demand for skilled labor in Europe. Lately, I show that the technological changes triggered by human capital losses could make these outfl ows increasingly costly for Europe in terms of productivity.
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