English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Brain Drain or Brain Gain? Micro Evidence from an African Success Story Catia Batista; Cátia Batista; Aitor Lacuesta; ...

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Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/20819
Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Brain Drain or Brain Gain? Micro Evidence from an African Success Story
Author
  • Catia Batista
  • Cátia Batista
  • Aitor Lacuesta
  • Pedro C. Vicente
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • Does emigration really drain human capital accumulation in origin countries? This paper explores a unique household survey designed and conducted to answer this specific question for the case of Cape Verde - the sub-Saharan African country with the largest fraction of tertiary-educated population living abroad, despite also having a fast-growing stock of human capital. Unlike previous literature, the ideal characteristics of our tailored survey allow us to explicitly test "brain gain" arguments according to which the possibility of own future emigration positvely contributes to educational attainment in the origin country. In particular, we introduce a new method to estimate this effect by using full histories of current and return migrants (which enable controlling for migrant selection on unobservables), and a new set of exclusion restrictions both at the regional and household levels. Our results are robust to the inclusion of controls for remittances, family disruption, and general equilibrium effects of emigration. In constructing a counterfactual distribution of skills to answer our research question, we combine the survey data with information from censuses of the destination cuntries to account for the characteristics of the labour force that is (permanent and temporarily) lost due to emigration. Our results point to commonly used "brain dran" figures to be significantly exaggerated, whereas there may be substantial "brain gains" from allowing free migration and encouraging return migration.
  • RePEc:oxf:wpaper:343
  • Does emigration really drain human capital accumulation in origin countries? This paper explores a unique household survey purposely designed and conducted to answer this specific question for the case of Cape Verde - the African country with the largest fraction of tertiary educated population living abroad, despite also having a fast-growing stock of human capital. Unlike previous literature, our tailored survey allows us to adjust existing inflated "brain drain" numbers for educational upgrading of emigrants after migration. We do so by combining our survey data on current, return and non-migrants with information from censuses of the destination countries. Our micro data also enables us to propose a novel, explicit test of "brain gain" arguments according to which the possibility of own future emigration positively impacts educational attainment in the origin country. Crucially, the innovative empirical strategy we propose hinges on the ideal characteristics of our survey, namely on full histories of migrants and on a new set of exclusion restrictions to control for unobserved heterogeneity of emigrants. Our results point to a very substantial impact of the "brain gain" channel on the educational attainment of those left behind. Alternative channels (namely remittances, family disruption, and general equilibrium effects at the local level) are also considered, but these do not seem to play an important role. Overall, we find that there may be substantial human capital gains from allowing free migration and encouraging return migration.
  • brain drain, brain gain, brain circulation, international migration, human capital, effects of emigration in origin countries, household survey, Cape Verde, sub-Saharan Africa
  • RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3035
Language
  • English
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