Brain Drain and Inequality Across Nations

This paper reviews what is known to date about the magnitude of the brain drain from developing to developed countries, its determinants and the way it affects the well-being of those left behind. First, I present alternative measures of the brain drain and characterize its evolution over the last 25 years. Then, I review the theoretical and empirical literature. Although the brain drain is a major source of concern for origin countries, it also induces positive effects through various channels such as remittances, return migration, diaspora externalities, quality of governance and increasing return to education. Whilst many scientists and international institutions praise the unambiguous benefits of unskilled migration for developing countries, my analysis suggests that a limited but positive skilled emigration rate (say between 5 and 10 percent) can also be good for development. Nevertheless, the current spatial distribution of the brain drain is such that many poor countries are well above this level, such as sub-Saharan Africanand Central American countries.


Generating Extreme Inequality: Schooling, Earnings, and Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital in South Africa and Brazil

Large household surveys are used to analyze links between schooling inequality and earnings inequality in Brazil and South Africa, countries which have long had among the highest levels of income inequality in the world. Although the countries have similar earnings inequality, South Africa has much lower inequality in schooling. The contribution of schooling to earnings inequality is very similar in the two countries, however, due to the convex relationship between schooling and earnings. If the countries traded schooling distributions or returns to schooling there would be little effect on earnings inequality. Both countries demonstrate strong relationships between parents’ schooling and children’s schooling, a key component of the intergenerational transmission of inequality. Significantly, however, the penalty for having poorly educated parents is much smaller in South Africa. The results suggest that even large improvements in schooling may be associated with inertia in earnings inequality in developing countries


Readings on Equality in Kenya: Sectoral Dynamics and Perspectives. Governance Institutions and Inequality in Kenya

Governance Institutions and Inequality in Kenya.

This chapter surveys the link between governance and inequalities, tracing the evolution of the Kenyan state and its institutions, and assesses how post-independence politics gave rise to inequities. The ethnic composition of Cabinets is assessed over different regimes and political epochs. The author notes that the need to take care of regional interests, and the number of the large ethnic groups, has informed political governance in Kenya and greatly informed the logic and character of forming governments


Unequal Property Rights: A study of land right inequalities in Rwanda

This paper examines the existence and patterns of systematic within country inequalities in effective land rights in Rwanda. The results of empirical estimations drawing on data on the land tenure arrangements of over 5,000 Rwandan households indeed suggest systematic within-country inequalities in land rights, with households headed by women or young individuals, households that have been displaced due to conflict, and households in the Imidugudu village settlements reporting significantly weaker rights than their respective comparison groups. The observed inequalities are not only the result of variation in tenure arrangements, but also exist when comparing households cultivating plots under similar land tenure regimes. Finding within-country inequalities in effective property rights highlights the need to – unlike much of the quantitative literature in the field – carefully evaluate how property rights apply to different segments of a country’s population.


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