E.g., 10/23/2020
E.g., 10/23/2020

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

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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

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The National Museum of History in Tirana, Albania features a large mosaic with nationalist imagery.

Southeastern Europe is experiencing one of the sharpest depopulations in the world, with countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia on pace to see their populations shrink by at least 15 percent in coming decades. To counter this trend, governments in the region, NGOs, and the private sector are increasingly, if unevenly, tapping into large diaspora communities to spur economic growth and strengthen cultural ties.

Grape pickers in France

Border closures and lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic have put a chill on intra-EU labor mobility, most immediately with the difficulty for European farmers to gain access to much-needed seasonal workers and for health-care institutions to get care workers. This article explores how these workers, who often face difficult situations, may be more vulnerable now. It also takes on implications for intra-EU labor mobility post-pandemic.

2018 African Union Ministerial Conference on Migration

While migration once was a lower-priority topic for African governments, the last decade has seen a deepening in governance. Policymakers have integrated migration into their national development strategies and mainstreamed it across policy domains such as health and education. The actions are promising on paper, yet questions remain about the extent to which they will translate to more effective migration management.

Indian nurses in a classroom

India is the world's largest source for immigrant physicians, and for Indian-trained doctors and nurses the allure of working abroad is strong despite an acute domestic shortage of health-care workers. Against this pull, the Indian government has enacted a number of policies to limit and regulate the emigration of health-care professionals, though these have been more ad hoc in nature and not part of a fully realized strategy.

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.

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Commentaries
June 2017
By Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Commentaries
January 2015
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou
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

Articles

Southeastern Europe is experiencing one of the sharpest depopulations in the world, with countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia on pace to see their populations shrink by at least 15 percent in coming decades. To counter this trend, governments in the region, NGOs, and the private sector are increasingly, if unevenly, tapping into large diaspora communities to spur economic growth and strengthen cultural ties.

Articles

Border closures and lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic have put a chill on intra-EU labor mobility, most immediately with the difficulty for European farmers to gain access to much-needed seasonal workers and for health-care institutions to get care workers. This article explores how these workers, who often face difficult situations, may be more vulnerable now. It also takes on implications for intra-EU labor mobility post-pandemic.

Articles

While migration once was a lower-priority topic for African governments, the last decade has seen a deepening in governance. Policymakers have integrated migration into their national development strategies and mainstreamed it across policy domains such as health and education. The actions are promising on paper, yet questions remain about the extent to which they will translate to more effective migration management.

Articles

India is the world's largest source for immigrant physicians, and for Indian-trained doctors and nurses the allure of working abroad is strong despite an acute domestic shortage of health-care workers. Against this pull, the Indian government has enacted a number of policies to limit and regulate the emigration of health-care professionals, though these have been more ad hoc in nature and not part of a fully realized strategy.

Policy Briefs
June 2019

Migration and development policy discussions have edged closer to each other on the international stage. The adoption of the Global Compact for Migration in December 2018 marks an important milestone. As all eyes turn toward the compact’s implementation, this brief examines some of the key topics states have pledged to work more closely on—from labor migration and migrants’ rights, to returns and reintegration.

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.

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