Clemens, Michael A. (2009): Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development. Published in: Human Development Research Paper (HDRP) Series , Vol. 08, No. 2009
Download (605kB) | Preview
Large numbers of doctors, engineers, and other skilled workers from developing counties choose to move to other countries. Do their choices threaten development? The answer appears so obvious that their movement is most commonly known by the pejorative term “brain drain”. This paper reconsiders the question starting from the most mainstream, explicit definitions of “development”. Under these definitions, it is only possible to advance development by regulating skilled workers’ choices if that regulation greatly expands the substantive freedoms of others to meet their basic needs and live the lives they wish. Much existing evidence and some new evidence suggests that regulating skilled-worker mobility itself does nothing to address the underlying causes of skilled migrants’ choices, generally brings few benefits to others, and instead brings diverse unintended harm. The paper concludes with examples of effective ways that developing countries can build a skill base for development without regulating human movement. The mental shift required to take these policies seriously would be aided by dropping the sententious term “brain drain” in favor of the neutral, accurate, and concise term “skill flow”.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development|
|Keywords:||skill, talent, professional, educated, graduate, degree, labor, global|
|Subjects:||O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources ; Human Development ; Income Distribution ; Migration
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J0 - General
|Date Deposited:||12. Dec 2009 07:22|
|Last Modified:||11. Feb 2013 19:32|
Academy Health (2008), Voluntary code of ethical conduct for the recruitment of foreigneducated nurses to the United States (Washington, DC: Academy Health), http://www.fairinternationalrecruitment.org/TheCode.pdf
Aitken, Norman D. (1968), “The international flow of human capital: Comment”, American Economic Review 58 (3): 539-545.
Alinsao, Virginia, et al. (2008), Voluntary code of ethical conduct for the recruitment of foreigneducated nurses to the United States (Washington, DC: AcademyHealth). http://www.fairinternationalrecruitment.org/TheCode.pdf
Atuahene, Francis (2006), “A policy analysis of the financing of tertiary education institutions in Ghana: An assessment of the objectives and the impact of the Ghana Education Trust Fund”, PhD Dissertation, College of Education (Athens, OH: Ohio University). http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi/Atuahene%20Francis.pdf?ohiou1160006095
Awases, M., A. Gbary, J. Nyoni, and R. Chatora (2004), Migration of Health Professionals in Six Countries: A Synthesis Report (Brazzaville: World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa). http://www.afro.who.int/dsd/migration6countriesfinal.pdf
Bach, Stephen (2008), “International mobility of health professionals: Brain drain or brain exchange?” in Andrés Solimano, ed., The International Mobility of Talent: Types, Causes, and Development Impact (New York: Oxford University Press).
Bacolod, Marigee P. (2007), “Do alternative opportunities matter? The role of female labor markets in the decline of teacher quality”, Review of Economics and Statistics 89 (4): 737-751.
Banerjee, Abhijit and Esther Duflo (2006), “Addressing absence”, Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (1): 117-132. BEA (2004), “Comprehensive revision of Gross State Product (GSP), 1977-2002”, News Release 04-56 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Dept. of Commerce). <http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2004/gsp1204.htm>, accessed March 15, 2009.
Behrman, Jere R. (2008), “Early life nutrition and subsequent education, health, wage, and intergenerational effects”, Commission on Growth and Development Working Paper No. 33 (Washington, DC: World Bank).
Beine, Michel, Frédéric Docquier, and Hillel Rapoport (2008a), “Brain drain and human capital formation in developing countries: Winners and losers”, Economic Journal 118 (528): 631-652.
Beine, Michel, Frédéric Docquier, and Maurice Schiff (2008b), “Brain Drain and its Determinants: A Major Issue for Small States”, IZA Discussion Paper 3398 (Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor).
Beine, Michel, Frédéric Docquier, and Maurice Schiff (2008c), « International Migration, Transfers of Norms and Home Country Fertility”, IZA Discussion Paper 3912 (Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor).
Bhagwati, Jagdish N., ed. (1976), Taxing the Brain Drain, Vol. 1: A Proposal (Amsterdam: North-Holland).
Bhagwati, Jagdish N. (1979), “International Migration of the Highly Skilled: Economics, Ethics and Taxes”, Third World Quarterly 1 (3): 17-30.
Bhagwati, Jagdish and Koichi Hamada (1974), “The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment: A theoretical analysis,” Journal of Development Economics 1 (1): 19-42.
Bhagwati, Jagdish and William Dellalfar (1973), “The brain drain and income taxation”, World Development 1 (1-2): 94-101.
Bhargava, Alok (2005), “The AIDS epidemic and health care infrastructure inadequacies in Africa: A socioeconomic perspective”, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 40 (2): 241-242.
Bhargava, Alok and Frédéric Docquier (2008), “HIV Pandemic, Medical Brain Drain, and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa”, World Bank Economic Review 22 (2): 345-366.
Bloom, David E. and David Canning (2008), “Population health and economic growth”, Commission on Growth and Development Working Paper No. 24 (Washington, DC: World Bank).
Chand, Satish and Michael A. Clemens (2008), “Skilled Emigration and Skill Creation: A quasiexperiment”, CGD Working Paper 152 (Washington, DC: Center for Global Development).
Chen, Lincoln C. and Jo Ivey Boufford (2005), “Fatal flows—Doctors on the move”, New England Journal of Medicine 353 (17): 1850-1852.
Chomitz, Kenneth M., Gunawan Setiadi, Azrul Azwar, Nusye Ismail, and Widiyarti (1998), “What do doctors want? Developing incentives for doctors to serve in Indonesia’s rural and remote areas”, Policy Research Working Paper 1888 (Washington, DC: The World Bank).
Clemens, Michael A. (2007), “Do Visas Kill? Health Effects of African Health Professional Emigration”, CGD Working Paper 114 (Washington, DC: Center for Global Development).
Clemens, Michael A. and Lant Pritchett (2008), "Income Per Natural: Measuring Development for People rather than Places", Population and Development Review 34 (3): 395-434.
Clemens, Michael A. (2009), “Should skilled emigrants be taxed? New data on African physicians abroad”, CGD Working Paper, forthcoming (Washington, DC: Center for Global Development).
Commander, Simon, Rupa Chanda, Mari Kangasniemi, and L. Alan Winters. 2004. “Must skilled migration be a brain drain? Evidence from the Indian software industry,” Discussion Paper 1422. Bonn: Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA). http://ftp.iza.org/dp1422.pdf
Corcoran, Sean P., William N. Evans, and Robert M. Schwab (2004), “Changing Labor-Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers, 1957–2000”, American Economic Review 94 (2): 230-235.
Court, David (1999), Financing higher education in Africa: Makerere, the quiet revolution (Washington, DC: The World Bank).
Crush, Jonathan, Wade Pendleton, and Daniel S. Tevera (2005), Degrees of Uncertainty: Students and the Brain Drain in Southern Africa, Migration Policy Series No. 35 (Cape Town: Southern African Migration Project).
Dabalen, Andrew, Bankole Oni, and Olatunde A. Adekola (2000), “Labor Market Prospects of University Graduates in Nigeria”, Background Paper for the Nigeria University System Innovation Project (Ibadan: Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research).
de Laat, Joost and William Jack (2008), “Adverse Selection and Career Outcomes in the Ethiopian Physician Labor Market”, Cahier de Recherche 0828 (Montréal: Centre on Risk, Economic Policies and Employment). http://188.8.131.52/CIRPEE/cahierscirpee/2008/files/CIRPEE08-28.pdf
Department of Health and Human Services (2009), “Annual update of the HHS poverty guidelines”, Federal Register 74 (14): 4199-4201. http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/09fedreg.shtml
Desai, Mihir A., Devesh Kapur, John McHale, and Keith Rogers (2009), “The fiscal impact of high-skilled emigration: Flows of Indians to the U.S.”, Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming. http://www.people.hbs.edu/mdesai/fiscalimpact.pdf
Devane, Richard (2006), “The dynamics of diaspora networks: Lessons of experience”, in Yevgeny Kuznetzov, ed., Diaspora Networks and the International Migration of Skills (Washington, DC: The World Bank).
Djankov, Simeon and Rita Ramalho (2009), “Employment Laws in Developing Countries”, Journal of Comparative Economics 37 (1): 3-13.
Docquier, Frédéric and Abdeslam Marfouk (2006), “Intemational migration by education attainment, 1990-2000”, in C. Özden and M. Schiff, eds., International Migration, Remittances and the Brain Drain (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).
Docquier, Frédéric and Elisabetta Lodigiani (2009), “Skilled Migration and Business Networks”, Open Economies Review, forthcoming.
Docquier, Frédéric, B. Lindsay Lowell, and Abdeslam Marfouk (2007), “A gendered assessment of the brain drain”, IZA Discussion Paper 3235 (Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor).
Eichler, Rena and Ruth Levine (2009), Performance Incentives for Global Health: Potential and Pitfalls (Washington, DC: Center for Global Development).
Feely, R. and B. O’Hanlon (2007), “Regulatory Barriers to Better Primary Care in Africa – Two Private Sector Examples”, Policy Brief (Washington, DC: US Agency for International Development). http://www.psp-one.com/content/resource/detail/4555
Felbermayr, Gabriel J. and Farid Toubal (2008), “Revisiting the trade-migration nexus: Evidence from new OECD data”, Working Paper (Hohenheim, Germany: University of Hohenheim).
Fernandes, Ana Margarida and Aaditya Mattoo (2009), “Professional services and development: A study of Mozambique”, Policy Research Working Paper 4780 (Washington, DC: World Bank).
Filmer, Deon, Jeffrey S. Hammer, and Lant Pritchett (2000), “Weak links in the chain: A diagnosis of health policy in poor countries”, World Bank Research Observer 15 (2): 199-224.
Finn, Michael G. (2003), “Stay Rates of Foreign Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities, 2001”, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, Tenn. http://orise.orau.gov/sep/fi les/stayrate03.pdf
Fyfe, Alec (2007), “The use of contract teachers in developing countries: Trends and impact”, Sectoral Activities Program Working Paper 252 (Geneva: International Labor Office). http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/sector/papers/education/wp252.pdf
Gibson, John and David McKenzie (2009), “The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific”, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration Discussion Paper 03/09 (London: University College London). http://www.econ.ucl.ac.uk/cream/pages/CDP/CDP_03_09.pdf
Grubel, Herbert B. and Anthony D. Scott (1966), “The international flow of human capital”, American Economic Review 56 (1-2): 268-274.
Hanushek, Eric A. and Ludger Woessman (2008), “The role of cognitive skills in economic development”, Journal of Economic Literature 46 (3): 607-668.
Haour-Knipe, Mary and Anita Davies (2008), Return Migration of Nurses (Philadelphia: International Center on Nurse Migration). http://www.intlnursemigration.org/download/return%20migration%20ltr.pdf
IADB (2007), Sending Money Home: Leveraging the Development Impact of Remittances (Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank).
ICP (2008), Global Purchasing Power Parities and Real Expenditures: 2005 International Comparison Program (Washington, DC: World Bank). http://siteresources.worldbank.org/ICPINT/Resources/icp-final.pdf
Iskander, Natasha (2009), The Creative State: Migration, Development, and the State in Morocco and Mexico, 1963-2005, forthcoming.
Jack, William and Maureen Lewis (2009), “Health investments and economic growth: Macroeconomic evidence and microeconomic foundations”, Policy Research Working Paper 4877 (Washington, DC: World Bank).
Javorcik, Beata Smarzynska, Caglar Ozden, Mariana Spatareanu, and Cristina Neagu (2006), “Migrant Networks and Foreign Direct Investment”, Policy Research Working Paper No. 4046 (Washington, DC: World Bank).
Jensen, Robert T. (2008), “The Perceived Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling”, Watson Institute for International Studies Working Paper (Providence, RI: Brown University). http://www.watsoninstitute.org/pub_detail.cfm?id=809
Johnstone, D. Bruce (2005), “Higher Educational Accessibility and Financial Viability: The Role of Student Loans”, in Global University Network for Innovation, Higher Education in the World 2006: The Financing of Universities (New York: Palgrave MacMillan).
Kamm, F. M. (2007), Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm (New York: Oxford University Press).
Kenya Ministry of Health (2007), Service Availability Mapping (SAM) (Geneva: World Health Organization). http://www.who.int/healthinfo/systems/samreportkenya.pdf
Kerr, William R. (2008), “Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion”, Review of Economics and Statistics 90 (3): 518-537.
Kinfu, Yohannes, Mario R. Dal Poz, Hugo Mercer, and David B. Evans (2009), “The health worker shortage in Africa: Are enough physicians and nurses being trained?” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 87 (3): 225-230.
Kiriga, Joses Muthuri, Akpa Raphael Gbary, Lenity Kainyu Muthuri, Jennifer Nyoni, and Anthony Seddoh (2006), “The cost of health professionals’ brain drain in Kenya”, BMC Health Services Research 6: 89, http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/6/89.
Kumar, Pooja (2007), “Providing the Providers—Remedying Africa's Shortage of Health Care Workers”, New England Journal of Medicine 356 (25): 2564-2567. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/356/25/2564
Kugler, Maurice and Hillel Rapoport (2007), “International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?” Economics Letters 94 (2): 155-162.
Kwesiga, Joy C. and Josephine Ahikire (2006), “On Student Access and Equity in a Reforming University: Makerere in the 1990s and Beyond”, Journal of Higher Education in Africa 4 (2): 1-46.
Leonard, Herman B. and Jay H. Walder (2000), The Federal Budget and the States: Fiscal Year 1999 (Cambridge, MA: Taubman Center for State and Local Government, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University).
Leonard, Kenneth L., Melkiory C. Masatu , and Alexandre Vialou (2007), “Getting doctors to do their best: the roles of ability and motivation in health care quality”, Journal of Human Resources 43 (2): 682-700.
Lindelöw, M. and P. Serneels (2006), “The Perfromance of Health Workers in Ethiopia”, Social Science and Medicine, 62 (9): 2225-2235. Lindelöw, Magnus, Patrick Ward, and Nathalie Zorzi (2004), “Primary health care in Mozambique: Service delivery in a complex hierarchy”, Africa Region Human Development Working Paper Series (Washington, DC: World Bank).
Lucas, Robert E. B. (2005), International Migration and Economic Development: Lessons from Low-Income Countries (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar).
McColl, Karen (2008), “Robinson’s Crusade”, British Medical Journal 337: 960-961, October 25.
McEwan, Patrick J. (1999), “Recruitment of rural teachers in developing countries: an economic analysis”, Teaching and Teacher Education 15 (8): 849-859.
McKenzie, David (2007), “Paper walls are easier to tear down: Passport costs and legal barriers to emigration,” World Development 35 (11): 2026-2039.
McKenzie, David and Hillel Rapoport (2006), “Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico”, Policy Research Working Paper 3952 (Washington, DC: World Bank).
McPake, Barbara and Kwadwo Mensah (2008), “Task shifting in health care in resource-poor countries”, The Lancet 372 (9642): 870-871.
Meissner, Doris and Donald Kerwin (2009), DHS and Immigration: Taking stock and correcting course (Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute).
Mills, Edward J., William A. Schabas, Jimmy Volmink, Roderick Walker, Nathan Ford, Elly Katabira, Aranka Anema, Michel Joffres, Pedro Cahn, and Julio Montaner (2008), “Should active recruitment of health professionals from sub-Saharan Africa be viewed as a crime?” The Lancet 371 (9613): 685-688.
Ministério da Saúde (2004), O Plano Estratégico dos Recursos Humanos 2005-2010, Direcção de Recursos Humanos (Maputo: República de Moçambique).
Minnesota Population Center (2008), Integrated Public Use Microdata Series—International: Version 4.0 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota). https://international.ipums.org
Mountford, Andrew (1997), “Can a brain drain be good for growth in the source economy?” Journal of Development Economics 53 (2): 287-303.
Newland, Kathleen, Dovelyn Agunias, and Aaron Terrazas (2008), Learning by doing: Experiences of circular migration (Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute). http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/Insight-IGC-Sept08.pdf
Nguyen, Trang (2008), “Information, Role Models and Perceived Returns to Education: Experimental Evidence from Madagascar”, Working Paper, Dept. of Economics (Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology). http://econwww. mit.edu/files/2344
NSB (National Science Board) (2003). Science and Engineering Indicators 2002, Vol. 1. (Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation).
OECD (2007), International Migration Outlook: Annual Report 2007 (Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
Oketch, Moses O. (2003), “Market Model of Financing Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Examples from Kenya”, Higher Education Policy 16 (3): 313-332.
O’Neil, Kevin (2003), Brain Drain and Gain: The Case of Taiwan (Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute). http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?id=155
Osili, Una Okonwo (2007), “Remittances and savings from international migration: Theory and evidence using a matched sample”, Journal of Development Economics 83 (2): 446-465.
Perkins, Dwight H., Steven Radelet, and David L. Lindauer (2006), Economics of Development, 6th ed. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co.).
Pritchett, Lant (2006a), Let Their People Come: Breaking the Gridlock on Global Labor Mobility (Washington, DC: Center for Global Development).
Pritchett, Lant (2006b), “Who is not poor? Dreaming of a world truly free of poverty”, World Bank Research Observer 21 (1): 1-23.
Pritchett, Lant (2006c), “Does learning to add up add up? The returns to schooling in aggregate data,” in Eric A. Hanushek and Finis Welch, eds., Handbook of the Economics of Education (New York: Elsevier).
Rauch, James E. (1999), “Networks Versus Markets in International Trade”, Journal of International Economics 48 (1): 7-35.
Ray, Debraj (1998), Development Economics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).
Rogers, Mark Llewellyn (2008), “Directly unproductive schooling: How country characteristics affect the impact of schooling on growth”, European Economic Review 52 (2): 356-385.
Rumbley, Laura E., Iván F. Pacheco, and Philip G. Altbach (2008), International Comparison of Academic Salaries: An Exploratory Study, Center for International Higher Education, Lynch School of Education (Boston: Boston College). http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/soe/cihe/salary_report.pdf
Said, Mona (2001), “Public sector employment and labor markets in Arab Countries: Recent developments and policy implications,” in D. Salehi-Ishfahani, ed., Labor and human capital in the Middle East (Reading: Ithaca Press).
Saxenian, AnnaLee (2006), The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
Select Committee on Science and Technology (2004), Science and Technology - Thirteenth Report (London: UK House of Commons). http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmsctech/133/13302.htm
Sen, Amartya (1999), Development as Freedom (New York: Anchor Books).
Serneels P., J. Montalvo, M. Lindelow, and A. Barr (2007), “For Public Service or for Money: Understanding Geographical Imbalances in the Health Workforce”, Health Policy and Planning, 22(3): 128-138.
Spilimbergo, Antonio (2009), “Democracy and foreign education”, American Economic Review 99 (1): 528-43.
Stark, Oded, Christian Helmenstein, and Alexia Prskawetz (1997), “A brain gain with a brain drain”, Economics Letters 55 (2): 227-234.
Stark, Oded (2005), “The new economics of the brain drain”, World Economics, 6 (2): 137-140. Steinbock, Bonnie, and Alastair Norcross, eds. (1994), Killing and Letting Die (New York: Fordham University Press).
Stoddard, C. (2003), “Why has the number of teachers per student risen while teacher quality has declined? The role of changes in the labor market for women”, Journal of Urban Economics 53 (3): 458-481.
Thee, Kian Wie, ed. (2003), The Indonesian Economy, 1950s-1990s (Canberra: Australian National University / Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).
Thorn, Kristian and Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen (2008), “International mobility of researchers and scientists: Policy options for turning a drain into a gain”, in Andrés Solimano, ed., The International Mobility of Talent: Types, Causes, and Development Impact (New York: Oxford University Press).
Todaro, Michael P. (2000), Economic Development, 7th ed. (New York: Addison-Wesley).
UNCTAD (2007a), “Brain drain undermines progress in least developed countries, UNCTAD warns”, Press Release UNCTAD/PRESS/PR/2007/015, July 19. http://www.unctad.org/Templates/webflyer.asp?docid=8580&intItemID=1528&lang=1
UNCTAD (2007b), The Least Developed Countries Report 2007: Knowledge, Technological Learning, and Innovation for Development (New York: United Nations).
UNDP (2007), Ghana Human Development Report 2007: Towards a more inclusive society (Accra: United Nations Development Program, Ghana Office). http://www.undpgha. org/docs/Human%20Development%20Report.pdf
United Nations (2004), World Economic and Social Survey 2004: International Migration (New York: United Nations).
Vujicic, Marko, Pascal Zurn, Khassoum Diallo, Orvill Adams and Mario R Dal Poz (2004), “The role of wages in the migration of health care professionals from developing countries”, Human Resources for Health 2:3, http://www.human-resourceshealth. com/content/2/1/3/abstract.
Wadda, Rohey (2000), “Brain drain and capacity building in Africa: The Gambian experience”, Paper presented at Regional Conference on Brain Drain and Capacity Building in Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 22-24. www.iom.int/africandiaspora/pdf/WADDA.pdf
WHO (2005), Health Systems Statistics 2005 (Geneva: World Health Organization). www.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/whostat2005_healthsystems_en.pdf
Wilkinson, Daniel and Anne Manuel (2005), Families Torn Apart: The High Cost of U.S. and Cuban Travel Restrictions (New York: Human Rights Watch). <http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2005/10/18/families-torn-apart>
Wilson, John Douglas (2008), “Taxing the brain drain: A reassessment of the Bhagwati proposal”, in Elias Dinopoulos, Pravin Krishna, Arvind Panagariya, and Kar-Yiu Wong, eds., Trade, Globalization, and Poverty (New York: Routledge). World Bank (2008), World Development Indicators 2008 CD-ROM (Washington, DC: The World Bank).
World Medical Association (2003), The World Medical Association Statement on Ethical Guidelines for the International Recruitment of Physicians (Paris: World Medical Association). http://www.wma.net/e/policy/e14.htm