Scottish migration: some thoughts on a human capital approach

David N. F. Bell, Frank X. Kirwan

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    For many years Scotland has experienced high levels of net emigration. Between mid-1951 and mid-1975 an estimated net 666,000 people l e f t Scotland - an annual average loss of almost 28,000. Though clearly such high emigration rates warrant concern there has been l i t t l e empirical study of the migration problem in Scotland. Hollingsworth (1) and the Scottish Council (2) are the two principal published studies - both now somewhat dated. This article presents an outline of a larger study which is being conducted with the aim of specifying and testing a human capital model of migration both within Scotland and between Scotland and the rest of the UK. En route it is hoped to explore some general problems of migration analysis, and to confront specific hypotheses derived from human capital theory with data from the 1971 Census of Population.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)33-43
    Number of pages11
    JournalQuarterly Economic Commentary
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1977


    • Scottish migration
    • population movement
    • human capital
    • emigration rates
    • migration analysis
    • human capital theory
    • Scottish economy


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