Graduate Mobility and Brain Gaining Capacity. an Analysis of in- and out-Migration of Talents Among Italian Regions

Roberto Impicciatore, University of Bologna
Rosella Rettaroli, University of Bologna
Francesca Tosi, University of Bologna

Investigating how qualified human capital is spatially redistributed within a country is essential to understand which areas benefit from its concentration in terms of enhanced productivity and potential for growth. Regions attracting student mobility from across the country may significantly benefit from the arrival of young individuals enrolling in local universities, especially since interregional migration is a skill-selective process. Nevertheless, an actual brain gain can only occur if regions prove to be able to retain the best and brightest after their graduation. The aim of this paper is to evaluate what is the capacity of Italian regions to retain the most talented university graduates in local labour markets. We focus on the interaction between individual skills and the probability to which graduates choose different mobility outcomes four years after graduation, distinguishing between university stayers (who settle in the same region of college attendance), return migrants (who go back to their region of origin), repeat migrants (who move further on to a third destination region), late migrants (who enrol in a local university and then move on to a different region to enter full-employment), and non-migrants. To this aim, we use the Istat database on University graduates’ vocational integration 2011 and control for the role of family background.

Presented in Session 100: Educational Achievement and Social Mobility