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This paper reviews four decades of economics research on the brain drain, with a focus on recent contributions and on development issues. The authors first assess the magnitude, intensity and determinants of the brain drain, showing that brain drain (or high-skill) migration is becoming the dominant pattern of international migration and a major aspect of globalization. They then use a stylized growth model to analyze the various channels through which a brain drain affects the sending countries and review the evidence on these channels. The recent empirical literature shows that high-skill emigration need not deplete a country's human capital stock and can generate positive network externalities.
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