Just as important as the skills deficit, however, is the trouble that many Egyptians have using their skills in the country’s sclerotic economy. Three researchers – Michael Clemens, Lant Pritchett and Claudio Montenegro – recently found a novel way to measure how well various countries use the workers they have. The three compared the wages of immigrants to the United States with the wages of similar workers from the same country who remained home.
A 35-year-old urban Egyptian man with a high school education who moves to the United States can expect an incredible eightfold increase in living standards, the researchers found. Immigrants from only two countries, Yemen and Nigeria, receive a larger boost. In effect, these are the countries with the biggest gap between what their workers can produce in a different environment and what they are actually producing at home.
The article is interesting throughout.