What Do We Know About Skilled Migration and Development?
The migration of skilled workers from developing countries is a persistent trend, which is often thought to have overwhelmingly negative effects on countries of origin. However, this brief demonstrates how recent research and experience challenge this assumption. It discusses the overlooked benefits of emigration for countries of origin, and challenges the idea that restricting skilled nationals' ability to leave their countries of origin yields benefits.
The brief argues that reducing migration flows will not alleviate shortages of skilled workers in developing countries, and that this reduction may actually produce worse developmental outcomes. Partnerships for skill flow between origin and destination can maximize benefits to both regions. Rather than try to build an immobile world, policymakers should plan for an increasingly mobile world, as well as making the best use of workers who do not choose to migrate. In addition, policymakers in important pairs of origin and destination countries should sit down together and design bilateral partnerships to foster skill creation and skill flow.