Brain Drain and Brain Gain

Brain Drain and Brain Gain

XI European Conference

23 May 2009


Auditorium, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

The conference focuses on skilled migration from the point of view of both sending countries (brain drain) and receiving countries (brain gain). The conference is co-funded under the grant: Politics, Economics and Global Governance: The European Dimensions, PEGGED Marie Curie Collaborative Projects (CPs) Funded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, Contract no. SSH-CT-2008-217559.


  • The first team includes Herbert Bruecker (IAB, Germany), Simone Bertoli (European University Institute), Giovanni Facchini (University of Milan), Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University, USA) and Giovanni Peri (University of Davis, California). They are currently working on a report entitled The Battle of Brains: How to Attract Talents. The purpose of this study is to examine the consequences of the competition for highly skilled labour from a receiving country perspective and to draw conclusions for immigration policies. More specifically, authors want to contribute to a deeper understanding of the following questions: 1) how does competition for talent affect human capital investment, thus influencing the pool of high skilled labour in the future? 2) how do immigration policies and economic factors affect the immigration of highly skilled individuals? 3) which are the gains from the immigration of highly skilled workers in the receiving countries? 4) how does the population in receiving countries perceive the immigration of highly skilled individuals? 5) which conclusions can we draw for immigration policies which attempt to attract high skilled labour? Is there a need for policy coordination?
  • Discussants: Sascha Becker (University of Stirling, UK), Franco Peracchi (University of Tor Vergata, Rome)
  • The second team includes: Frédéric Docquier (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) and Hillel Rapoport (Bar-Ilan University, Israel), currently working on the report Quantifying the Impact of Highly-Skilled Emigration on Developing Countries. The report provides a set of original indicators documenting the magnitude of highly skilled migration and quantifies the costs and gains of the brain drain for sending countries. In particular, authors suggest that, at the macroeconomic level, remittances, return migration, diaspora externalities and network effects may favor international transactions and technology diffusion and compensate many sending countries for their loss of human capital.
  • Discussants: Antonio Spilimbergo (International Monetary Fund), Alessandra Venturini (University of Turin)
  • Final panel discussion: “How to Attract Talents?”
    Fabio Benfenati (Director, Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Italian Institute of Technologies, Genoa)
    Giovanni Dosi (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna)
    Ugo Montanari (Deputy Director, IMT Alti Studi Lucca and University of Pisa)
    Pietro Reichlin (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome)
    Daniele Terlizzese (Director, Einaudi Institute for economic and Finance)

Chairman: Pietro Garibaldi (Director Collegio Carlo Alberto and Fondazione RDB)

The conference is sponsored by: