Skilled migration and health outcomes in developing countries

from International Journal of Health Economics and Management at on April 30, 2018 at 08:18AM


Many studies have found that health outcomes decline when health professionals leave the country, but do such results remain consistent in gender- and income-disaggregated skilled migration? To help uncover explanations for such a pro-migration nature of health outcomes, the present study revisits this topic but allows for associations of skilled migration with mortality and life expectancy to differ between male and female, and between low- and high-income countries. Using a panel of 133 developing countries as source and 20 OECD countries as destination from 1980 to 2010 allowing the coefficient on emigration across different education levels to differ, the study finds the negative effect of high-skilled emigration on health outcomes. Such effect is more pronounced for high-skilled female migration than those for male and for low-income countries than for middle-and high-income countries. Results also show that such adverse effect is larger for African countries than non-African ones. However, the low-skilled migration appears to be insignificant to affect health outcomes in developing countries. Thus, skilled migration is detrimental to longevity in developing countries but unskilled migration is not.