A Cross-National Comparison of the Spatial Structure of Internal Migration by Level of Educational Attainment

Nikola Sander, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Jana Vobecka, Vienna Institute of Demography

Considerable research has been devoted to the study of the ‘brain drain’ and the international migration of the educated from developing to developed countries. Much less attention has been devoted to the study of internal migration by education, and how its determinants and spatial structure differ between countries. This is despite its implications for human capital formation and economic development at the regional level. Bell et al (2002) offer a rigorous approach to cross-national comparisons of internal migration in which inter-regional migration is analysed along four dimensions: intensity, connectivity, impact and distance. We apply this approach to five-year migration transitions for six countries (one of each continent): United States, Brazil, Switzerland, South Africa, Malaysia and Australia. The results reveal systematic differences across education levels in the intensity, impact and distance of migration, even when controlling for other socio-economic factors such as marital status and income.

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Presented in Session 167: Internal Migration