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4. On the brain drain of africans to America: Some Methodological observations

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Chapter Summary

Recurring debates about the impact of the brain drain has motivated estimation of the magnitude of the phenomenon, most recently by the World Bank. Although frequently cited as a key contributor to Africa’s wanting development record, what constitutes the “brain-drain” is not always clearly defined. Today, in the absence of an accounting system, resolution of the definitional and measurement question depends on relative comparisons of measurement variants, which will identify definitional shortcomings by clarifying the merits and demerits of these variants, and thereby suggest corrective imputations. This chapter compares the World Bank’s approach to a chronological precedent to clarify the value of variant comparisons. The World Bank calculations resulted in a brain-drain estimate of 4,384 foreign educated and 1952 American-educated Africans; with the revised cuttoff model there were 3,726 foreign educated and 2,610 American educated.

Keywords: accounting system; Africans; America; human capital; World Bank



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