Date of Graduation
This dissertation investigates the effects of gender discrimination, proxied by a women's rights index, on the female high-skilled migration rates relative to that of male (the female brain drain ratio). First, by developing a model of migration choice I find non-linear effects of gender discrimination on the female brain drain ratio as a result of effects of gender discrimination on both costs and benefits of migration. At low levels of women's rights, increases in the index lead to increases in the female brain drain ratio. At very low levels of women's rights, it is often prohibitively costly for females to migrate. They may face onerous legal restrictions or lack protection from males seeking to prevent their migration. Once a certain level of protections has been afforded to them, the costs to migration are low enough that many women then decide to leave the oppressive society and migrate where the benefits associated with their human capital are higher. However, as women's rights continue to strengthen, those benefits to migration then tend to decrease. The effect on female brain drain then turns negative. Using a panel of up to 195 countries I find evidence consistent with this model which is robust to instrumental variable approach. Chapter 4 extends the research to considering the gaps in women's rights in origin and destination countries. I show both womens expected costs and benefits of migration are a function of women's rights in the origin country relative to those of the destination . As a result, the relationship between changes in that gap on the female brain drain ratio is non- linear. Inparticular, starting from low levels of the rights gap, increases in the relative level of rights in the origin and destination country can be associated with increases in the female brain drain ratio. However, starting from higher levels of the gap the relationship turns negative. Using a panel of over 5,000 bilateral migration flows across OECD and non-OECD countries and the womens rights indices I report evidence consistent with the theory. Chapter 5 by using a quasi-experimental framework, examines and confirms the non- linear hump-shaped effects of improvements in womens rights on the female brain drain ratio. Moreover, by isolating the effects of different components of the women's rights finds that in lower levels of womens rights, improvements in womens political rights are the most effective compared to improvements in womens political and economic rights. Alternatively, in higher levels of women's rights, improvements in women's social rights are the most pronounced.
Naghsh Nejad, Maryam, "Essays on The Effects of Womens Rights on Female Brain Drain." (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9481.