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Brain Drain and Institutions of Governance: Educational Attainment of Immigrants to the US 1988-1998

By Aniruddha Mitra and James T. Bang


We investigate the impact of home country institutions on the skill level of immigrants to the United States over 1988-1998. Specifically, we explore the hypothesis that institutions are multidimensional and that the different dimensions have conflicting impacts on the migration of skilled labor. Using an exploratory factor analysis on fifteen institutional variables, we identify the following dimensions of institutional character: credibility; transparency; democracy; and the security of civil society. We find that credibility and transparency increase the magnitude of brain drain; security reduces it; and democracy has no significant impact.immigration, institutions, political instability, brain drain

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