This study offers a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between education and migration in Ukraine while controlling for impact of other factors. The work also provides recommendations on migration and education policy.
In particular, the work addresses four sets of questions:
- The extent to which the educational system in Ukraine contributes to better local employment opportunities, hence diminishing the outflows;
- The direct impact of individual education on migration decisions;
- The use of remittances for education by the recipient families and their impact on the demand for education;
- The link between policy and legislative framework in the area of migration and education.
According to the results, additional year of education increases the chance of finding a job for about by 2-3%, however, the effect of education on wages is small, especially when compared to other transition countries (1-5% wage premium for a year of education). In addition, while in 8 out of 10 countries education has zero or positive impact on the probability of starting a business, this impact is negative and significant in Ukraine (-2 percentage points for each year of education). Nevertheless, education has no clear stable effect on migration from Ukraine. Research provides evidence that the “brain-waste” hypothesis was particularly acute for white-collar Ukrainian migrants, but not for blue-collar workers in 2005-2008. In 2010-2012 this situation has improved, although it is not clear whether the improvement is permanent. In addition, according to the data, existing government policies in the area of migration and education so far have had little influence on the migrants’ decisions either at home or abroad.
This study was prepared by Hanna Vakhitova, Assistant Professor and Senior Researcher at Kyiv School of Economics, and Tom Coupe, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher at Kyiv School of Economics within the EU-funded large-scale project “Effective Governance of Labour Migration and its Skill Dimensions” implemented by the International Labour Organization in collaboration with International Organization for Migration and the World Bank in Ukraine and Moldova in 2011–2013.