The Gravity of High-Skilled Migration Policies

18 May 2015

International Migration Institute (IMI) Working Papers Paper 110, May 2015 Mathias Czaika and Christopher R. Parsons


Despite the almost ubiquitously held belief among policy makers that immigration policies aimed at attracting high-skilled workers meet their desired aims, academics continue to debate their efficacy. This paper presents the first judicious assessment on the effectiveness of such policies. The authors combine a unique new data set of annual bilateral high-skilled immigration labour flows for 10 OECD destinations between 2000 and 2012, with new databases comprising both unilateral and bilateral policy instruments, to examine which types, and combinations, of policies are most effective in attracting and selecting high skilled workers using a micro-founded gravity framework.