Inputs from the New Economics of Migration of Medical Doctors in Eastern and Central Europe

Inputs from the New Economics of Migration of Medical Doctors in Eastern and Central Europe

Cristina Boboc, Emilia Titan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4723-7.ch010
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This is a contribution to the new economics of skilled labor emigration that focuses on the mobility of physicians inside European Union from ECE countries. Economic models under risk neutrality and aversion are used. The findings show that the education could change significantly the results on the emigration benefices. Comparisons of theoretical and observed relative human capital per country averages are conducted and ensured the statistical validity of the model used. The empirical results based on the available data on emigration by Docquier and Marfouk (2008) but also by Bhargava, Docquier, and Moullan (2010) allowed further use of the model to understand the current trends in the emigration of physicians and the border between brain gain and brain drain. The countries included in the study all exhibited brain gain between 1991-2004. Each country is encouraged to anticipate the likely effects of this emigration on the economy with the increase of health demand, the domestic wages, and the increase in education capacity for medical doctors.
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Literature Review

Physician migration is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. Imbalances in the production of physicians lead to workforce shortages and surpluses. Many authors analyzed these imbalances. In the countries when health care needs are often greater than in developed countries the workforce shortage seriously compromise the ability to deliver adequate and equitable health care to a large proportion of population. In these countries the physician emigration could have important effects on donor countries.

Authors such as Commander, Kangasniemi and Winters (2003) emphasized that early models found that emigration of skilled labor would be harmful through the impact on wages, employment, and fiscal costs. They also showed that more recent literature has argued that a beneficial “brain gain” takes place under the effects of educational externalities. Marchiori, Ling, and Docquier (2010) suggest that the movement of high skilled human capital from developing to developed countries can have many positive effects. Brain drain improves human capital through ex-ante motivations to be highly educated, creates positive externality on total factor productivity by helping technology diffusion from the receiving countries, decreases information risks and triggers more foreign direct investment inflows (Marchiori et al., 2010).

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