Migration and Education Aspirations - Another Channel of Brain Gain?


  • Böhme
  • M.

International migration not only enables individuals to earn higher wages but also exposes

them to new environments. The norms and values experienced at the destination country

could change the behavior of the migrant but also of family members left behind. In this paper

we argue that a brain gain could take place due to a change in educational aspirations of

caregivers in migrant households. Using unique survey data from Moldova, we find that

international migration raises parental aspirations in households located at the lower end of

the human capital distribution. The identification of these effects relies on GDP growth

shocks in the destination countries and migration networks. We conclude that aspirations are a

highly relevant determinant of intergenerational human capital transfer and that even

temporary international migration can shift human capital formation to a higher steady state

by inducing higher educational aspirations of caregivers.


JEL Classification
O12, I21, J61


  • Bildung
  • Migration