UCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series WP19/07
Emigrants from Italy and Ireland contributed disproportionately to the Age of Mass Migration. That their departure improved the living standards of those they left behind is hardly in doubt. Nevertheless, a voluminous literature on the selectivity of migrant flows - both from sending and receiving country perspectives - has given rise to claims that migration generates both "brain drains" and "brain gains". On the one hand, positive or negative selection among emigrants may affect the level of human capital in sending countries. On the other hand, the prospect of emigration and return migration may both spur investment in schooling in source countries. This essay describes the history of emigration from Italy and Ireland during the Age of Mass Migration from these perspectives.
Migration Brain Drain Brain Gain Human Capital Italy Ireland