Paola Egea, Itzuri Ortiz, María Isabel Jiménez, Daniela Lara
Brain Drain Migration
Brain Drain or human capital flight has been defined by the encyclopedia Britannica as the “departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another country, usually for better pay of living conditions”. The brain exchange implies a two-way flow of theexpertise between a sending country and a receiving country. Depending of the “flow’s direction”, the terms “brain gain” or “brain drain” can be used. A resulting term is also “brain waste”, which describes the waste of skills that occur when high-skilled workers migrate, and are employed where the application of these skills and experience are not applied, or needed.
The most common causes areattributed to domestic conflicts, lack of opportunities, political instability, or health risks. Brain drain corresponds a big consequence mainly to developing countries, by representing a capital flight with an economical cost, since emigrants usually take with them the “value of their training”, commonly sponsored by the government.
History of the problem
This issue was detected and measuredfor the first time after World War II, mostly in Europe. After the soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, a greater majority of those living in the “newly areas” of the Eastern Bloc, aspired to independence and wanted soviets to leave. By the 1950’s the Soviet Union started restricting emigration in the Eastern Bloc, including East Germany. In 1952, even with the closing of the German border, atleast 3.5 million East Germans had left. By 1961, 20% of East Germany’s population inhabited other countries. The emigrants tended to be young, and well educated, this leading to a brain drain feared in East Germany. The drain of East Germany’s young population cost over 22.5 billion in “lost” educational investment.
Later in 1963 “brain drain” was defined as the departure of the British scientiststo U.S., having a lot of negative consequences on its economy. After this event the term brain drain became more common in 3rd world countries with the migration of their professionals loosing all their investments on them and having a well use from the most developed countries making this an unbalance trade of technology between countries “Reverse Technological Transfer” (term use by the NationConference on Trades and Development on 1972). Then in east Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union and with the Warsaw treaty, started a huge migration of this people making a brain waste because not all of them could find good jobs.
Cross-boarding migration of highly skilled people has grown and expanded wisely since the previous backgrounds. It has been the detonator ofintense policies on that matter too. In developed countries as well as less-developed nations, keeping or attracting highly skilled workers has become an essential part of the national economical policy. Brain drain has also been taken in consideration for decisions and policy making not just for immigration, but also plans for a better and higher education, funds for research, internationalinvestment, even tax policies. Other issues have developed from the effect of this growing migration, particularly of scientists and engineers, according to the research on “Issues in the international migration of highly skilled workers” by Mark C. Regets.
The United States, as the world’s largest and strongest economy, as well as the biggest education for foreign students, has become thetraditional nation for immigration, also for the movement of highly skilled workers. In the year 2000, according to the “U.S Decennial Census”, it was shown that a very large proportion of the highly skilled workers in the U.S, are from other countries. This data can provide a general sight, to the magnitude and direction of the global situation, and effects of the high-skill migration around the world....