PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to critique the last decade of research on the effects of high-skill emigration from developing countries, and proposes six new directions for fruitful research.Design/methodology/approachThe study singles out a core assumption underlying much of the recent literature, calling it the “Lump of Learning model” of human capital and development, and describes five ways that research has come to challenge that assumption. It assesses the usefulness of that model in the face of accumulating evidence.FindingsThe axioms of the Lump of Learning model have shaped research priorities in this literature, but many of those axioms do not have a clear empirical basis. Future research proceeding from established facts would set different priorities, and would devote more attention to measuring the effects of migration on skilled migrant households, rigorously estimating human capital externalities, gathering microdata beyond censuses, and carefully considering optimal policy – among others.Originality/valueThe recent literature has pursued a series of extensions to the Lump of Learning model. This study urges instead discarding that model, pointing toward a new paradigm for research on skilled migration and development.
international Journal of Manpower – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 3, 2016
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