Undergraduate Economic Review publishes senior thesis of alumnus

Austin Martin ‘18 explored how wage differences between countries affects migration among people with different levels of education, focusing on "brain drain."

Research authored by Austin Martin ’18 has been published in Volume 16, Issue I of the Undergraduate Economic Review, a peer-reviewed journal supported by the Department of Economics and The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Headshot of Austin Martin
Austin Martin ’18

Martin wrote his senior thesis, “Exploring the Effect of International Wage Differences on Brain Drain,” under the mentorship of Brandon Sheridan, assistant professor of economics.

The paper’s abstract: “This paper examines how international wage differences affect brain drain by comparing the effects of skill-specific wage differences on low, medium, and high-skilled emigration. Previous literature explores qualitative factors behind migrant flow, but there is little focus on the role of wage differences in individuals’ decisions to emigrate. A relatively new data set on emigration rates by education level and a modified gravity model provide a unique analysis of bilateral migration flows. This paper finds that wage differences may have a significant and positive effect on and low-skilled emigration, but a less significant effect on high-skilled emigration or brain drain.”

Martin, who graduated from Elon in 2018 with a degree in international economics, is a J.D. candidate at George Washington University Law School. In 2018, he won the Omicron Delta Epsilon Frank W. Taussig Article Award for his thesis.