The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Waikato Management School
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Top Students Study

In this project we are carrying out surveys of top high school students from six Pacific countries with different migration opportunities and levels of development: Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Solomon Islands. In each country we survey top students as identified either from performance in national examinations or from academic honours in their high schools over the period 1976-2003. The surveys aim to find out how many of these top students ever migrate, and how many eventually return to their home countries. The surveys also ask about the importance of different financial and informational linkages with home countries. Evidence from the surveys may allow a better understanding of the possible benefits and challenges that migration provides in the Pacific, and a more balanced assessment of the extent to which any losses due to brain drain effects may be compensated for by "brain gain" effects.

Published Papers and Working Papers

Internet Link Scientific Mobility and Knowledge Networks in High Emigration Countries: Evidence from the Pacific (2013). John Gibson and David McKenzie. Ungated version here

Internet Link The economic consequences of "brain drain" of the best and brightest: Microeconomic evidence from five countries Economic Journal 122(560): 339-375 (2012). John Gibson and David McKenzie. Ungated version here

  Eight questions about brain drain  Journal of Economic Perspectives 25(3): 107-128 (2011). John Gibson and David McKenzie. Ungated version here

  The microeconomic determinants of emigration and return migration of the best and brightest: Evidence from the Pacific Journal of Development Economics 95(1): 18-29 (2011). John Gibson and David McKenzie. Ungated version here

Marsden Fund Project

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