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Departure of Labour: When Does the Home Country Benefit?

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Sending countries can benefit from low‐skill migration during the exit and adjustment phases by reduced pressure on the domestic labour market, creating employment opportunities and increased wages for other low‐skilled workers who remain at home. In general, low‐skilled workers remit more than the highly skilled and come from poorer communities where their remittances make a greater contribution to poverty reduction than the remittances of the highly skilled. Benefits from the departure of the highly skilled accrue in the latter stages of the migration cycle. Brain drain entails risks for sending countries but can also encourage higher levels of education at home. Temporary and circular migration ‐ of both low‐skilled and highly skilled workers ‐ can benefit migrants and the sending country, often more than permanent migration.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: November 1, 2007


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