Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The best and brightest. Selezione positiva e brain drain nelle migrazioni interne italiane

Nifo, Annamaria and Pagnotta, Stefano and Scalera, Domenico (2011): The best and brightest. Selezione positiva e brain drain nelle migrazioni interne italiane.

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During the last decade, the internal migration flows from Southern Italy to the central and northern regions of the country have become more significant. Unlike the past, these flows are characterised by a strong incidence of qualified workers with secondary or tertiary education. Also, even in this restricted set of workers, the most talented (the best and brightest) individuals are the ones showing the highest propensity to migrate. This paper applies a binary segmentation technique to a database of 10701 individuals graduated at Palermo and Naples universities between 2004 and 2007 in order to get groups with mostly differentiated attitudes to migrate. The evidence shows that variables driving segmentation (i.e. the most relevant variables in explaining the propensity to migrate) are the subject of study (who graduates in engineering and scientific disciplines is more mobile), the graduation mark (who gets higher marks is more likely to migrate) and the family social and cultural background. This strong positive self selection of migrants enhances the ability of internal migration to trigger considerable harmful effects on origin regions and jeopardises Southern Italy to suffer from heavy losses of human capital.

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