DP7002 | FDI, the Brain Drain and Trade: Channels and Evidence

Publication Date


JEL Code(s)


Programme Area(s)


This paper explores the links between the patterns of migration (high vs. low-skill), trade policy, and foreign direct investment (FDI) from the standpoint of sending countries. A skeleton general equilibrium model with a non-traded good and sector-specific labour is used to explore the effects of the skill-composition of exports on FDI. The model suggests that if exports are low-skill intensive, emigration of high- skill labour leads to positive FDI, suggesting that migration and FDI are complements. Cross-sectional analysis using FDI and emigration data for 103 migration-sending countries over the period 1990-2000 finds some support for this conjecture.