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We investigate the impact of civil war on high skilled emigration rates to the OECD over the period 1985-2000. Controlling for economic and institutional characteristics of source countries, we find that civil war increases high skilled emigration by about 5 percent on the average. However, the nature of conflict matters: While brain drain from countries with ethnic conflict is about 6-8 percent greater on average than it is from countries without conflict, brain drain from countries with nonethnic conflict is less, and statistically insignificant. Duration also matters: Each additional year of ethnic conflict worsens the brain drain by between 0.4 and 1 percent, whereas the effect of an additional year of nonethnic conflict is small and insignificant.

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Aniruddha Mitra

James T. Bang

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