53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional Integration: Europe, the Mediterranean and the World Economy", 27-31 August 2013, Palermo, Italy
This paper advances in the literature on the migration of college students, which is not very large in Brazil evaluating in to what extent does the uprising in the offer of undergraduate courses in a certain municipality affect the migratory net balance (over the municipality young population). The recent significant evolution of the offer of places in undergraduate courses in Brazil may provide a new instrument of regional development. In this sense, if this process happens in less favored municipalities, there will be a new element of attraction of students that will be qualified and may stay there afterwards. Considering Demographic Censuses (1991, 2000 and 2010) and Undergraduate Courses Censuses (1995 and 2005), indicators of attraction and repulsion of families are constructed for Brazilian municipalities. Therefore, migration decision may be taken by the youngster (if he migrates alone) or by his family (in the pursuit of job opportunities and higher quality of life). As the analysis is done over time for municipalities, Minimum Comparable Areas (2000-2010) are built and the spatial dependence of the residuals in the regressions is taken into account by spatial econometrics models. Two models are estimated in this preliminary analysis: spatial error model and spatial autocorrelation model, both of them applied in a first difference setting. This kind of approach seems adequate for the issue analyzed, as spatial autocorrelation coefficients are significant and test statistics also show this problem. The main results show that there is a positive impact of the offer of places in undergraduate courses, of the population and of life quality measures (life expectancy and infant mortality rate) over the net migration index. This preliminary result has a very important policy implication, which is the fact that an investment by the private or the public sector to increase the number of positions in higher education courses may impact on migratory flows. If such offer grow in most deprived places (which seems to have been the case in recent years), it is possible to reduce regional inequality. Moreover, it is possible that the results presented here are more associated to a correlation than to a true cause-consequence effect.