The movement of highly skilled people is one of the most topical aspects of international migration. Most often, discussions of high-skilled mobility evoke considerations of ‘brain drain’ – migration from poorer to wealthier countries – ignoring movement to and between developing countries.
The authors of this paper, Erhan Artuç, Frédéric Docquier, Çaglar Özden and Christopher Parsons, argue that this oversight not only restricts many important avenues of research, but given the lack of immigration and emigration flow data by skill level, also prevents countries from assessing the effectiveness of their immigration, education and labour market policies.
This paper aims to address this gap by introducing for the first time, a global overview of human capital mobility. The authors build upon a new data collection, identify the key determinants of international migration, and impute missing data using a novel estimation process. The authors then refine a set of brain drain indicators to generate estimates of both gross and net human capital levels across the world.