Regionalism in West Africa: Do Polar Countries Reap the Benefits? A Role for Migration

Adama Konseiga, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

In the globalization era, increasing attention is paid to the ambiguous relationship between brain drain and economic growth, but few papers have analyzed the growth impact of skilled migration. The study filled the research gap by building the first data set on brain drain from seven countries of the western African Union (WAEMU) and highlighted the size of the brain loss toward Côte d’Ivoire and France. Burkina Faso shows a more severe brain drain to Cote d’Ivoire compare to other similar sahelian countries (such as Mali) whereas the reverse holds when considering the destination France. Subsequent growth convergence results show that the effect of brain gain holds only for countries with migration outside WAEMU toward an industrialized country (France) and failed when migration flows into Cote d’Ivoire, the Union polar economy. Therefore, migration can be used as a powerful force working toward income convergence between capital-rich and capital-poor countries.

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Presented in Session 80: Macroeconomic Consequences of Migration