Chapter 8: Graduate migration in Spain: the impact of the Great Recession on a low-mobility country
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This chapter studies the impact of the Great Recession on the migration of graduates in Spain, a country with traditionally low international mobility for graduates. However, the strong impact of the Great Recession has dramatically altered the mobility patterns of residents in Spain. The chapter’s empirical analysis first adopts a macro approach and takes advantage of the recent publication of IAB brain-drain data. It analyses aggregate trends of the stock of Spanish migrants in twenty OECD destination countries by gender, country of origin and educational level, for the period 1980–2010. Next, it uses individual data from different surveys addressed to Catalan graduates and recent PhD holders carried out by the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU) in order to provide new evidence on the drivers and impacts of changing trends in their migration behaviour. The chapter’s analysis shows that international migration of university graduates has boomed in recent years. Such flows are responsive to differences in incomes with other countries. Graduates with a higher propensity to migrate are those with higher grades in their degree, previous mobility experiences and foreign-language knowledge.

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