E.g., 04/18/2019
E.g., 04/18/2019

Brain Drain & Brain Gain

Brain Drain & Brain Gain

The movement of skilled workers internationally represents brain gain for the countries that reap their skills and experience and brain drain for their countries of origin. On the brain gain side of the divide, countries increasingly are looking to position their immigration policies to attract the types of international workers and students whose skills they desire. On the brain drain side, the development impacts of losing educated workers are being assessed in immigrant-sending and receiving countries alike as the research presented here shows.

Recent Activity

Reports
January 2019
By Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas, Luis Argueta, and Randy Capps
Policy Briefs
September 2018
By Kate Hooper
Commentaries
June 2017
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
New Brain Gain: Rising Human Capital among Recent Immigrants to the United States
Fact Sheets
June 2017
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Reports
March 2017
By Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza and Guntur Sugiyarto
Reports
February 2017
By Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak, and Guntur Sugiyarto

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Reports
January 2019
By Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas, Luis Argueta, and Randy Capps
Policy Briefs
September 2018
By Kate Hooper
New Brain Gain: Rising Human Capital among Recent Immigrants to the United States
Fact Sheets
June 2017
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Reports
March 2017
By Dovelyn Rannveig Mendoza and Guntur Sugiyarto
Reports
February 2017
By Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak, and Guntur Sugiyarto

Pages

The emigration of health-care professionals from Malawi led to drastic labor shortages in the impoverished nation in the early 2000s. To combat this brain drain, the government launched an action plan that has largely stabilized the outflow. However, human resource challenges to Malawi's health-care system remain acute and complex, as discussed in this feature article.

Five factors, including wages and professional development, drive skilled people to migrate, and three reasons encourage them to return. Laura Chappell and Alex Glennie of ippr in London look at all of these factors and how motivations vary across different contexts and groups of migrants.
A number of governments and institutions are determined to ride international migration toward a future of greater prosperity. MPI's Kathleen Newland outlines what they all should know about the pluses and minuses of the most basic issues that frame the debate on migration and development: remittances and the brain drain.
For years, Germany has been concerned about losing its top minds to the United States. While highly skilled individuals are leaving for the U.S., most of the increase is accounted for by temporary migrants, as Claudia Diehl of the German Federal Institute for Population Research and MPI's David Dixon reveal.
The assumption that brain drain is everywhere and always negative does not necessarily hold true and hides the need for a more nuanced methodology for assessing migration's impacts. Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah of the Institute for Public Policy Research explains.

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Commentaries
June 2017
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Commentaries
January 2015
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou
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Audio
December 16, 2015

This briefing in Bangkok launches the MPI-IOM Issue in Brief, Shortage amid Surplus: Emigration and Human Capital Development in the Philippines, which reviews the impacts of the Philippines' successful labor export policy on skills development and human capital growth within the country. While Filipino migrant workers contribute significantly to the national economy with the remittances they send home (over US $27 billion in 2014), this reliance on exporting labor raises an important question: Has the nation’s focus on preparing workers to leave compromised human capital development at home?

Audio
November 24, 2015

A discussion on how governments and societies can retain their most valuable workers, turn emigration challenges into opportunities, and capture more of the potential benefits of emigration.

Audio
March 26, 2015

Marking the release of the 12th MPI-IOM Issue in Brief, this event in Bangkok examined the emerging trends in women’s labor migration in the Asia-Pacific region, and the related opportunities and challenges. The audio does not include opening remarks and begins with the author's presentation.

Audio
December 16, 2014
This Bangkok launch of the MPI-IOM Issue in Brief "A ‘Freer’ Flow of Skilled Labour within ASEAN: Aspirations, Opportunities and Challenges in 2015 and Beyond" explored the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community and its vision of a freer flow of skilled labor, as well as other migration issues affecting the region.
Video
July 25, 2012

The 2012 Global Diaspora Forum challenged diaspora communities to forge partnerships with the private sector, civil society, and public institutions in order to make their engagements with their countries of origin or ancestry effective, scalable, and sustainable.

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Recent Activity

Reports
February 2019

As European countries launch ambitious new legal migration partnerships with several origin and transit countries in Africa, this report takes stock of the long and mixed history of such projects. To make the most of their potential to encourage skills development and fill pressing labor gaps, policymakers will need to think carefully about the partners and sectors they choose, among other key considerations.

Reports
January 2019

Reception and reintegration programs for deported and other returning migrants represent a long-term investment for migrant-origin and destination countries, holding the potential to reduce re-migration and permit communities of origin to benefit from the skills migrants learn abroad. This report offers recommendations to make reintegration programs more effective in Mexico and Central America.

Policy Briefs
September 2018

While partnerships to facilitate skilled migration have had mixed success in the past, the Global Compact for Migration is advancing a new approach that may change this. This policy brief compares this new partnership model with the traditional one, highlighting the questions policymakers will need to answer if they are to encourage mobility, sustain employer engagement, and see development benefits in countries of origin.

Commentaries
June 2017

A recent MPI study reveals that 48 percent of recent immigrants to the United States were college graduates, a sharp increase over earlier periods. How can the United States better leverage this brain gain? This commentary outlines some policies that could allow the United States to more fully utilize the professional and academic credentials that highly skilled immigrants have, for their benefit and that of the U.S. economy.

Fact Sheets
June 2017

Nearly half of immigrant adults arriving in the U.S. since 2011 have a college degree—a far higher share than a quarter-century ago, when just 27 percent did. This striking but little noted shift in the composition of recent immigrant flows, driven in part by rising migration from Asia, comes as some policymakers press for a "merit-based" immigration system. This fact sheet examines rising human capital at U.S. and state levels.

Reports
March 2017

While it has been years since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed accords to facilitate the movement of professionals in seven occupations, implementation of these Mutual Recognition Arrangements remains "painfully slow and uneven across countries." This final report in an MPI-Asian Development Bank series explores MRA implementation by sector, and offers recommendations to help achieve the goal of greater skill mobility in Southeast Asia.

Reports
February 2017

Given diverging demographics, rising educational attainment and wide variation in economic opportunities, countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are poised to see an expansion of both the demand for and supply of skilled migrants willing and able to move. The convergence of these megatrends represents unique opportunities for human-capital development and brain circulation, as this report explores.

Reports
March 2016

This report discusses Spain’s changing migration patterns in the wake of dramatic economic downturn, paying special attention to the effects of the emigration of young, native-born Spaniards. The report also focuses on policies geared toward engaging the increasing number of Spaniards abroad, finding that much of Spain's policy towards diasporas predates the 1980s.

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