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Discussions of high-skilled mobility typically evoke migration patterns from poorer to wealthier countries, the focus of which ignores movements to and between developing countries. This paper presents, for the first time, a global overview of human capital mobility, i.e. bilateral migration stocks by gender and education in 1990 and 2000 and nuanced brain drain indicators. Building upon newly collated data, we identify key determinants of international migration using a novel estimation procedure based upon a pseudo-gravity model, which we subsequently use to impute missing data. Non-OECD destinations account for one-third of skilled-migration, while OECD destinations are declining in relative importance.



Working paper


International Migration Institute

Publication Date




Total pages



International migration, labour mobility, brain drain