Impacts of Brain Drain in Both Developed and Developing Economies Term Paper

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Brain Drain in both Developed and Developing Economies:

Brain drain defines as the personnel migration in the search of better standards of living and an expected quality of life, which includes accessible advanced technologies, better paid jobs and sometimes a more stable political condition in different places around the world. The professionals who migrate for better work opportunities, both locally and internationally are victims of the growing concerns of unstable economic systems in most developing countries. Why do talented people choose to move abroad? What areas are affected by such migrations especially the educational sector? Which policies can stem such movements from developing countries to developed countries? (Samuelson. 2004).

Economic drain is experienced when there is a migration of skilled resources for education, trade, etc. Trained human resource is a requirement everywhere in the world. However, better living standards, attractive salaries, access to modern technology and a more stable governmental environment is what attracts people across international borders. The majority of trend is moving from developing to developed countries, because these countries have invested greatly in education, and professional training for fresh graduates, this however translates as loss of considerable human resource for the country these professionals migrate from, with the direct benefits going to the migrated countries/states who have not even invested in their education (Amiti & Wei. 2004). The key point to be remembered here is that the highly trained, professional and intellectuals of any country are some of the most expensive resources for that country in terms profitable material cost, time and more importantly because of the lost opportunity.

In 2000 alone, almost 175 million of the world's population which is approximately 2.9%

was living outside their birth country for more than 5 years. Out of this figure, 65 millions were the most active economically. This type of migration, in the past has involved many health professionals, nurses and physicians. The main reason for searching for employment in other countries is the inadequate benefits and high unemployment in one's own country.

The concept of international migration first emerged as a major economic concern in the 1940s when many trained Europeans moved to UK and USA. Then later in the 1970s, UN published a detailed 40-country research on the magnitude and emigration flow of trained professionals. According to this report, ninety percent of the migrating professionals were moving to just 5 countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, UK and USA. In 1972, 6% of the worlds doctors (140-000) were situated outside their home countries. Over three quarters were found to be only in UK, USA and Canada (Romer. 1990). The countries these resources emigrated from reflected colonial and linguistic conflicts, with a majority seen in Asian countries: India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Productivity Growth and Unit Labor Costs Since 1950


Average Quarterly Productivity Growth

Average Quarterly

Unit Labor Cost

Growth (%)













Source: Contrary Investor (2004). "The Moment of Truth for Productivity?"

If proper calculations are done then, by linking number of resources per 10-000 populations to GDP, the countries with more production of sustainable employees who showed growth in their fields after emigration were Egypt, India, Pakistan, Philippines and South Korea. However, the lack of reliable data and the difficulties of defining whether a migrant is 'permanent' or 'temporary' still exist (Romer. 1990). A few economists may suggest that the migration from developing countries to a more sustainable country, in many cases is useful, important and very much unavoidable. there are of course permanent advantages, the most common being allowing a migrant to spend good time in other countries, but economically for governments there is a very low emigration rate of professionals to and from USA or UK and may be as disturbing sign as the high rates of immigration to these countries.

The implications for poor sending countries are stark. According to the "African Capacity Building Foundation," the continent of Africa loses 20,000 skilled workers every year to developed countries with better work opportunities. Considering this, all the efforts being made by the developed world may not be of any use if the required personnel required putting into effect these development related programs are missing. Every year it is estimated that there are 20,000 fewer people in Africa than the year before; this means 20,000 fewer people to be a part of their nation's economic growth, public services and progress of greater democracy and development. The question is not that something is required to do about the ongoing. G8 leaders have already brought this subject into light on various occasions and the UK's commission on the developing countries calls for better responses, development agencies, unions and other civil society related groups demanding for action (Agrawal, Vivek & Farrell. 2003).

Draining out Brain Drain:

The important question is what needs to be done in this regard. The intuitive response

And one of the most frequently agreed upon is the attempt to plug the drain. Branching out the flow seems to be the appropriate action in this case: where these key workers departing are hurts for the sending countries, so reducing the emigration scale shall ease the pain. However, attempting to limit the movement may not prove to be most efficient procedure to tackle the problem (Salt.1997). Although the very idea of: brain drain" may be overused and a term of the past, which falsely implies that the effects of immigration of highly skilled people are always and everywhere, without any geographic restraints a negative thing.

Instead what should be adopted are better and effective procedures to analyze the total impacts of immigration, which includes any impacts of brain drain as well as nuanced policies that track particular problems where, how and when they arise. The solution should be such that one factor can used to analyze all issues which are heavily aimed at limiting movement from particular regions and countries, which could end up inhibiting development, and of course suppressing the rights of would-be migrants (Salt.1997). Furthermore, there is a dire need to produce measures that recognize a greater mobility, not less of it so that an efficient.

Productive and sustainable response can be developed for the long-term. However, like every approach this one is also met with huge challenges, one of which is finding out a way to tap into the immense economic and other benefits migration can deliver for individuals and receiving countries, while simultaneously ensuring that sending countries also benefit.

Brain Drain Is Not Always Negative:

Once the various ways through which brain drain can hurt an economy and its development have been identified, that it not just enough; because there are some suggestions out there claiming that "brain drain" may not be entirely bad, and in some cases do tend to have positive effects as well, this area is not so obvious. Yet accepting and taking into account the positive results coming from highly skilled emigration is surely the first important step for getting to the core of the brain drain issue.

To begin with, it is important to realize that that some of the very simplistic claims about economic brain drain may not be true at all. One of the very common beliefs is that, some of the people who tend to fall in the minority, who migrate return back to their homeland with greater skills Carrington (William & Detragiache.1999). Some studies also show that there is a group of thought that people who migrate from a developing nation receive education somewhere else, they get financial support in the receiving country or by any other legal means which is only concerned to them. By staying away after they are done with their studies, these student might chose not to fulfill the potential contribution which they are capable of, for their countries of origin.

In a majority of cases those who left their countries did so because they were employed or underpaid, hence their departure may not be of significance for the country professional migrated from. For example, the Philippine government's program to support temporary contract workers is still active so that unemployed but skilled professionals can explore employments in other developed countries. However the departure of skilled workers is compensated by the arrival of other skilled workers from other countries. As described in a special chapter in the OECD's 2004 Trends in International Migration, "the classic case of this domino effect is of South African doctors moving to developed countries while being replaced by Cuban doctors" (William & Detragiache.1999). At a study based approach, economists argue that there is a possibility that brain drain can have positive effects as well. Even in the poorest of countries, for instance Cuba, employment prospects and incentives may increase if reforms are introduced, so that people get motivated to acquire education, skills and hence invest in education. When this domestic "brain gain" is greater than the "brain drain," then the overall impact on sociological and economic growth may appear to be promising (Bhardan&Kroll.…

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