- The Brain Drain between Knowledge Based Economies: the European Human Capital Outflows to the US
By Ahmed Tritah
Editions du CEPII, Paris, 2008
Brief Summary (PDF), Full Text (PDF), Another Summary (HTML)
The study is based on American census statistics dating from 1980 to 2006 and examines the education, experience and labor quality of the migration flow across the ocean. In brief, he finds that the people who leave are over-averagely well educated and skilled compared to the population at the source country, and that the loss hurts. Not so surprisingly, he also found that countries which increased their spending in Research and Development experienced lower rates of expatriation to the United States.
It is unfortunate the available data ends 2006, since a lot has changed since and I would be interested to see newer statistics. The European Research Council and Germany in particular started many initiatives to counter the brain drain and it's been sufficient time one could see first effects.