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Brain Drain and Brain GainThe Global Competition to Attract High-Skilled Migrants$
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Tito Boeri, Herbert Brücker, Frédéric Docquier, and Hillel Rapoport

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654826.001.0001

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The Political Economy of Skilled Immigration

The Political Economy of Skilled Immigration

(p.127) 5 The Political Economy of Skilled Immigration
Brain Drain and Brain Gain

Herbert Brücker

Simone Bertoli

Giovanni Facchini

Anna Maria Mayda

Giovanni Peri

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the drivers of individual attitudes towards skilled immigration, looking at how preferences towards overall and skilled immigration change depending on the relative skill composition of the native vs. immigrant population. The chapter finds that more educated natives are less likely to favour high educational qualifications of migrants across several countries—consistent with the labour market channel—while richer individuals are more likely to—consistent with the welfare state channel under the tax adjustment model. The chapter then considers how individual preferences can be aggregated into policy outcomes in a democratic society by using a median voter model and a framework in which policy outcomes are instead the result of lobbying efforts by organized groups. The chapter does not find evidence consistent with the median voter model, but it shows that interest groups are actively engaged and effective in affecting policies towards skilled migrants.

Keywords:   immigration, highly skilled migrants, selective migration policy, preferences towards immigration, median voter, interest groups

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