International Review of Economics

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 269–284 | Cite as

What’s up after brain drain? Sometimes, somewhere, someone comes back: a general model of return migration



Individual preferences and wage differentials are generally interpreted as determinants of agents’ migration decisions in search of job opportunities. Literature about migration flows usually describes both theoretical and empirical evidence for either temporary or permanent movements of workers, but brain drain migration has its own peculiar characteristics. This paper aims to obtain two results: the first is to present the law of determination that leads to the moment of the return decision, and the second is to analyse how the difference between the utility from domestic and foreign consumption evolves in time. The presented model explains how the return decision is determined, even in cases when the agent does not leave or does not return at all.


Brain drain Return migration Individual preferences Wage differentials 

JEL Classification

F22 J24 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly

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