International Journal of Applied Economics
There is concern among many policy makers of a dual problem: too many immigrants overall but not enough highly-skilled immigrants. Using recently available data we examine the factors which influence both the quantity and average educational level of immigrants in OECD countries in 1990 and 2000. We find that geographic proximity and former colonial relationships positively influence the overall number of immigrants but are negatively related to immigrants’ average educational level. By contrast, variables such as greater economic freedom, more generous asylum policies, and a common language and religion increase both the quantity and educational level of immigrants. More highly educated immigrants also appear to be more concerned with low unemployment rates among high-skilled workers in destination countries than in income differences between the destination and source countries. These results suggest that highlighting cultural similarities of destination countries can be an important feature of programs designed to attract high-skilled immigrants. Government reforms regarding asylum policies and economic regulation may also increase a country’s appeal to higher-skilled immigrants.
Ortmeyer, David; Jackson, Aaron; and Quinn, Michael A., "The Ties that Binds: Colonies , Culture and Education Among Immigrants" (2010). Economics Faculty Publications. 3.