DP11903 Global Skill-Based Immigration Policies and Israel's Brain Drain

Author(s): Assaf Razin
Publication Date: March 2017
Keyword(s):
JEL(s): F22, H10, J1
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics and Finance
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11903

US attracts more high skill immigrants than Europe. One key factors is US research centers. US universities and research centers, funded directly and indirectly by the US federal and state governments, attract talented researchers from all over the world. Many of them remained in the US after completing their original term of education, training or research. Many became citizens. In the confines of the generous welfare state, low skill immigrants impose fiscal burden on the native born. In contrast, high-skill immigrants help in relieving the burden. This is the economic rationale behind skill-based immigration policies. The other side of the skill bias in immigration policy is that the international migration of skilled workers (the so-called brain drain) deprives the origin country from its scarce resource - human capital. Israel supply of high skill workers is unique. Today, Israel ranks third in the world in the number of university graduates per capita, after the United States and the Netherlands. It possesses the highest per capita number of scientists in the world, The paper links Israel's brain drain to skill-based immigration policies, prevailing in the advanced economies. The paper links Israel's brain drain to skill-based immigration policies, prevailing in the advanced economies.