E.g., 06/18/2022
E.g., 06/18/2022
Brain Drain & Brain Gain

Brain Drain & Brain Gain

_ImmigrantBusinessPeople

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.

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Cover image for How Can Europe Deliver on the Potential of Talent Partnerships?
Policy Briefs
December 2021
By  Kate Hooper
Cover image for Deepening Labor Migration Governance at a Time of Immobility: Lessons from Ghana and Senegal
Policy Briefs
July 2021
By  Camille Le Coz and Kate Hooper
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Reports
January 2019
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas, Luis Argueta and Randy Capps
Coverthumb GlobalCompact SkillPartnerships
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

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A tuk tuk driver in India.

With nearly 18 million nationals abroad, India is the origin of more international migrants than any other country and claims the world's largest diaspora. Indian emigration can be traced back to the colonial era, with the British empire dispatching Indian workers across the globe, and has evolved for more than a century in response to global labor demands and geopolitical events. This article offers a comprehensive profile of migration from and to India.

Two boys pose in an informal settlement east of Johannesburg largely populated by immigrants.

South Africa hosts the most immigrants of any African country. Yet it faces conflicting pressures, including the legacy of apartheid, a steady outflow of well-educated South Africans, and the need to juggle bilateral labor mobility schemes at a time of economic insecurity and high unemployment. This article traces these pressures and how they have developed over time.

Scaffolding surrounds a mosque in Iran.

Large numbers of well-educated Iranians have left their country of birth since its 1979 revolution, in a “brain drain” that has held back Iran’s economy and cultural institutions. Iran’s isolation from the world has worsened in recent years, and a stuttering economy, currency freefall, and widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the underlying factors encouraging emigration, as this article examines.

thailand flooding climate migration

Migration can help build resilience against the encroaching effects of climate change. Instead of being passive victims of environmental degradation, individuals sometimes move to gain money, knowledge, and skills that can fortify their household of origin. Migrant workers from Thailand demonstrate how and under what conditions this process works.

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.

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Commentaries
June 2017
By  Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
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Commentaries
January 2015
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou
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Expert Q&A, Audio
April 2, 2021

Popular discussions usually frame climate change-induced migration negatively, often as a strategy of last resort. But migrating abroad can also be an effective way to build resilience against the impacts of climate change.

Event PH 2015.12.16 Emigration and Human Capital Development in the Philippines
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?

Event PH 2015.11.24 Departures Glasgow 3528672899_22e8be2eac_z
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.

EventPH 2015.3.26 Womens Labour Migration from Asia and the Pacific
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.

EVENTPH 2014.12.16  Flow of Skilled Labour within ASEAN
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.

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Recent Activity

Reports
April 2022

Emigrants and their descendants can play a critical role in the development of their countries of origin or ancestry. In fact, many such countries have policies that seek to leverage their diaspora’s contributions. Much less attention has been paid to how destination countries with large international development programs are engaging their resident diasporas—or could be engaging them—in the development of countries of origin.

Articles

With nearly 18 million nationals abroad, India is the origin of more international migrants than any other country and claims the world's largest diaspora. Indian emigration can be traced back to the colonial era, with the British empire dispatching Indian workers across the globe, and has evolved for more than a century in response to global labor demands and geopolitical events. This article offers a comprehensive profile of migration from and to India.

Policy Briefs
December 2021

Europe has announced it will launch a set of Talent Partnerships, combining new mobility schemes for workers or students with related investments in capacity-building in partner countries. As the details are being hammered out, this MPI Europe policy brief explores how and under what conditions these partnerships could help meet European labor market needs and provide tangible benefits for partner countries and migrants themselves.

Articles

South Africa hosts the most immigrants of any African country. Yet it faces conflicting pressures, including the legacy of apartheid, a steady outflow of well-educated South Africans, and the need to juggle bilateral labor mobility schemes at a time of economic insecurity and high unemployment. This article traces these pressures and how they have developed over time.

Policy Briefs
July 2021

The pandemic has dramatically curtailed labor migration opportunities in West Africa, as it has around the world. What does this mean for countries such as Ghana and Senegal that have been working to improve their governance of international labor migration? This brief explores the evolution of these countries’ migration policies, efforts to facilitate labor migration, and strategies to engage their diasporas.

Articles

Large numbers of well-educated Iranians have left their country of birth since its 1979 revolution, in a “brain drain” that has held back Iran’s economy and cultural institutions. Iran’s isolation from the world has worsened in recent years, and a stuttering economy, currency freefall, and widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the underlying factors encouraging emigration, as this article examines.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 2, 2021

Popular discussions usually frame climate change-induced migration negatively, often as a strategy of last resort. But migrating abroad can also be an effective way to build resilience against the impacts of climate change. This episode discusses how migration can bring social, economic, and other benefits to migrants and their communities, in conversation with University of Vienna human geographer Harald Sterly.

Articles

Migration can help build resilience against the encroaching effects of climate change. Instead of being passive victims of environmental degradation, individuals sometimes move to gain money, knowledge, and skills that can fortify their household of origin. Migrant workers from Thailand demonstrate how and under what conditions this process works.

Pages