March 2008

IZA DP No. 3398: Brain Drain and its Determinants: A Major Issue for Small States

revised version published in: Artal-Tur/Peri/Requena-Silvente (Eds.),The Socio-Economic Impact of Migration Flows - Springer: 2014

This paper examines the relationship between the brain drain and country size, as well as the extent of small states’ overall loss of human capital. We find that small states are the main losers because they i) lose a larger proportion of their skilled labor force and ii) exhibit stronger reactions to standard push factors. We also observe that the correlation between human capital indicators and country size is close to zero. This suggests that small states are more successful in producing skilled natives and less successful in retaining them.