REVISING workers. Despite being a global trend, there

REVISING
BRAIN DRAIN: HOW POOR COUNTRIES CAN DRAW THE BEST OUT OF ITI find myself as part of one
of the biggest contemporary phenomenon of the century: the migration of young
people abroad. Even if for a short period of time and with the certainty of my
return, the study abroad period I am experiencing in Poland for my Erasmus+
programme is an example of mass migration of students and young workers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Despite being a global trend, there are specific areas which are the main
sending and receiving countries. Some nations have imposed themselves on the
world scenario as providers of international higher education. For example, the
US host 21% of international students and, together with the UK, they have a
great range of countries of origin. The other main receiving countries attract students
from specific regions: France for north and west Africa, Germany for eastern
Europe and Turkey, Australia caters for southeast Asia. In particular, the
willing to improve English language skills is one of the important reasons for
students to migrate to the countries were English programmes are taught.1The
migration of students is often linked to the will of
a better way of living and, especially, to the hope of a good labour market in
which spend the acquired knowledge.
If we don’t just consider the migrations of student, but we involve also the
global moving of young graduated and professionals, we meet the phenomenon
called brain drain. We will define the concept of “brain drain” and later we
will clarify the most important points of why and where it is happening. Brain
drain has long been considered a serious issue for poor countries.  However, recent literature is trying to draw
attention on the positive effects of this phenomenon also in sending countries.
In this essay we will try to summarize these new theories which refuse to
strictly consider countries just as beneficiaries or damaged by brain drain.To
describe it, we can use the definition provided by Aatish Zagade and Supriya P.
Desai in their article:’The migration
of high level expertise is known by several nomenclatures that include brain
drain, brain circulation, and less so brain haemorrhage.’2
‘Mobilization of talent is an is an emerging global phenomenon of significant
proportion as it affects the socio-economic and socio-cultural progress of a societies
and nations across the world.’3 But
which are the causes of brain drain?
The main pull factors that bait people to receiving countries are: better
economic prospects with higher salary and income, better levels of living,
modern educational systems and prestige of it, availability of experience,
better technological conditions for researches and greater employment
possibilities. On the other hand, the characterizing push factors of sending
countries are: under employment, economic under development, low wages,
political instability, unsuitable institutions, desire for a higher recognition
and poor technological and research conditions. Which
are the areas more affected by this hemorrhage?The
main sending countries with high-skilled citizens migrating in large numbers
are often those in the developing world and still facing poverty problems and
hard life conditions. This is why we recognize several African countries such
as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Jamaica and South Africa in the list of the mayor
brain-drain sending countries next to countries such as Iran, China, Mexico, Malaysia
and India.
Different theories about the most likely countries to be affected were driven
out; for example, the article “brain drain and human capital formation in
developing countries: winners and loser” written by Michel Beine, Frederic
Docquier and Hillel Rapoport tries to study the relation between emigration and
the size of the country. They support the idea that:” Descriptive
statistics show a clear decreasing relationship between emigration rates and
country size, with average emigration rates being about 7 times higher for
small countries (with population lower than 2.5 million) than for large countries
(with population higher than 25 million).”4The
highest emigration rates were found to be in middle income countries, while
high and low income countries reveal the lowest rate. This is because, in the
first ones people have both the stimulus and the means to emigrate, while in
high income countries citizens are less likely to feel the need to leave their
nation. On the other hand, low income countries citizens don’t have the
possibility and the means to relocate in another nation. This remark is valid
both for total and skilled migration. 5The
brain drain has long been considered a serious issue for poor countries.  However, recent literature is trying to draw
attention on the positive effects of this phenomenon also in sending countries.
In this essay we will try to summarize these new theories which refuse to
strictly consider countries just as beneficiaries or damaged by brain drain. But
which are the main problems that the sending countries have to face once their
human capital has flown away? If the number of people leaving exceeds the one
of people entering, brain drain can become a problem, especially if it concerns
important nation’s sectors like science, technology or health care. The chances
for a nation to develop fly away as erudite and skilled people are moving.
Without fresh people to hire to improve, the country will provide worst and
worst services to the population. This will lead to more people leaving, beginning
a vicious cycle that could be lethal to poor countries.
Additionally, home countries face different fiscal costs subsiding students,
particularly in countries where general taxation backs up the educational
system. As a matter of fact, young students benefit from the educational system
in which they grown using infrastructures, taking parts in programmes and gaining
knowledge from their national educational path. Once grown up and ready to pay
back this system, they just pack up and go spend their knowledge in another
country. Consequently, the country can’t make the most out of the cultured young
professionals and doesn’t get paid back neither with taxation nor with
contribution in the national context. This can represent a big problem,
especially in poor countries where the government already faces hardships in
providing a respectable and appropriate education.Both
the problem of the lack of specialists and the missed payed back taxation are
discussed and solved in the research by John Gibson and David McKenzie called ”
The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ 
of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries”.
For this aspiring project, they choose five countries experiencing a remarkable
brain drain: Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Ghana and New Zealand.
The innovative survey methodology is described by the authors as:”…consisting
of identifying a well-defined target sample frame of interest – individuals who
were the top academic performers in the country at the time of their high
school graduation – and then tracking down these individuals wherever they
currently live in the world and surveying them. … We then form
counterfactuals for what these individuals would be doing at home through also
surveying academically similar non-migrants and return migrants”.6The
interesting point consists in the measurement of the economic effects of brain
drain in the sending countries, trying to estimate them taking into
consideration what the citizens would have been doing if they stayed in their
homeland. About
remittances and contributions of emigrants to their home countries, J. Gibson and D. McKenzie
show high monetary and goods remittances levels. For instance, 86% of all
Ghanaian current migrants are remitting even more and more frequently than a
common citizen. Therefore, in this case we can assume that these individuals,
exactly because they moved to better life conditions, are remitting more than
is they had not migrated.The
same remark about remittances has been made by Sunita Dodani and Ronald E
LaPorte in their article “Brain drain from developing countries: how can brain
drain be converted into wisdom gain?” where they assert that remittances from
expatriates living abroad constitute a significant proportion of foreign
revenue for many developing countries. For example, in Bangladesh remittances
from emigrated citizens represent the second largest source of foreign income
and they amount to US 2$ billion. Even if the importance of remittances is
variable and it is different in every country, the migrating generation is engaged
in the national economic and social development.7Besides
remittances, trade and direct investments are thought to be the most positive
influent financial channels available to emigrants to benefit their home
countries. Moreover, training programmes and research projects can be launched
by expatriate scientists and healthcare professionals. Making available their
knowledge, research and clinical skills, the home countries benefit through
knowledge transfer. Even though is not possible to place a monetary value on
this process, it is, with no doubt, substantial. 8A
great example is given by the high-skilled diaspora in countries such as
Taiwan, China or India: young migrants used the destination country knowledge
to reduce the transacting across costs, providing fresh and immediate knowledge
to start new firms at home. This explains how China became a leader in
biological research and biotechnology, and the only developing country taking
part in one of the most ambitious scientific research, the “Human Genome
Project”.’Experience gained through the
participation of its institutions in the Human Genome Project (including
large-scale sequencing, the use of bioinformatics and the coordination of
multi-centre research protocols) provided the platform for developing
biotechnology that can be applied to human diseases and agriculture. The opportunities
generated by the Chinese in biotechnology attract both international
collaboration in joint ventures and gifted scientists from China and abroad.’9Another
example of beneficial influence of migrants is proposed again by John Gibson
and David McKenzie that contemplate a much more common way of transferring
knowledge for migrants: promoting chances to study and work abroad. A great
percentage, between 30 and 50 of migrant, advise countrymen about opportunities
abroad, aiding people in their migrations choice. Another peculiar form of
knowledge transfer consists of advising people abroad about traveling and
spending holidays in their home countries. Basing on their research, John
Gibson and David McKenzie state that: ’91 percent of New Zealanders, 75 percent
of Papua New Guineans, 66 percent of Ghanaians, 56 percent of Tongans and 44
percent of Micronesians have done this’.10Moreover,
if we want to go in deep in the analysis of brain drain especially in poor
countries, we need to take into consideration the phenomenon of the returnees,
i.e. the migrants moving back to their home countries.
Since brain drain is a wide and complicated phenomenon, it is difficult to
estimate the percentage of migrant going back to their home countries.
Restricting the field of observation just to migrating students, according to Arnaud
Chevalier in his article ” How to attract foreign students”, he rates from 65
to 80 percent of international students  not
remaining to work in the host country. The evaluation of students’ skills in
the home labour market and a strongly growing economy are important factors
that a migrant takes in consideration before choosing to go back home. 11About
returnees, Aatish Zagade and Supriya P. Desai conducted a research in their
article “Brain Drain or Brain Circulation : a Study of Returnee Professionals
in India” that took a sample  of people
selected from the city of Pune in Maharashtra State of India. All the
interviewed were working in foreign country before they returned back to India
to start their own business.
According to this research, the most significant factors drawing Indians  back home were economic opportunities, access
to local markets and family ties. When asked about the family ties, more than
94 percent of the interviewed agreed that it is a fundamental factor for their
return. Moreover, since the majority of them came back home to start their
entrepreneurial venture, more than 60 percent of respondents stated the
importance of the availability of economic opportunities in their countries. 12Apart
from individuals benefits, also developing sending countries take advantages
from return migration. Citizens coming back from abroad take with them physical
and human capital gained abroad, and they are more inclined to invest in
start-ups, start trade deals and spread knowledge.
Return migration can be used to accelerate the development of poor countries by
implementing in their systems innovations from the outside. In this way,
knowledge is brought into the nation in a quicker way than building and
spreading it from the inside in school, universities, factories and companies. This
operation can work efficiently especially in the scientific research field:
young brilliant students can migrate to more advanced countries and assimilate
important and innovative information that they can implant once back home.It’s
essential for the developing countries to take advantages from brain drain to
boost new generations. For instance, in the article “Brain drain from
developing countries: how can brain drain be converted into wisdom gain?”
S.Dodani and R.E.La Porte suggest an interesting consideration that underlines
how young talents need to be placed in an adequate environment that can enhance
them :’Foreign
scientists from developing countries who are involved in research and
development produce 4.5 more publications and 10 times more patents than their
counterparts at home.26 Why is there such a vast difference in productive
capacity? The context and conditions in which science and technology are able
to prosper require political decisions, funding, infrastructure, technical
support, and a scientific community; these are generally unavailable in
developing countries. The value and effectiveness of individuals depends on
their connection to the people, institutions and organizations that enable
knowledge creation, and together constitute a propitious environment’.’13 Give
these points, in this essay we tried to revise the negative effects of brain
drain in the literature until 1970s that, with a pessimistic evaluation of
brain drain, highlighted the cons of those left behind in poor countries. Even
if this phenomenon can’t be underrated, it can be seen under a different light
and recognised having positive influence on economic growth back home. Expressly,
this include dedication to education, remittances, knowledge transfer and creation
of networks. In effect, the negative impact of brain drain on poor countries
can be sufficiently balanced and restrained.

1 Arnaud Chevalier, How to
attract foreign students 2014

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

2 Teferra, cited in Zagade and Desai,
Brain Drain or Brain Circulation: a Study of Returnee Professionals in India, 2017
p 423

3 Aatish Zagade and Supriya P. Desai,
Brain Drain or Brain Circulation: a Study of Returnee Professionals in India,
2017 p 423

4 Docquier and Marfouk cited in Michel
Beine, Frederic Docquier and Hillel Rapoport, Brain drain and human capital
formation in developing countries: winners and losers, 2008 p 637

5 Michel Beine, Frederic Docquier and
Hillel Rapoport, Brain drain and human capital formation in developing
countries: winners and losers, 2008

6 John Gibson and David McKenzie, The
Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic
Evidence from Five Countries, 2010 p 4

7 Sunita Dodani and Ronald E LaPorte,
Brain drain from developing countries: how can brain drain be converted into
wisdom gain?, 2005

8 John Gibson and David McKenzie, The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain
Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries,
2005

9 Sunita Dodani and Ronald E
LaPorte, Brain drain from developing countries: how can brain drain be
converted into wisdom gain?, 2005 p 490

10 John Gibson and David
McKenzie, The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest:
Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries, 2005

11 Arnaud Chevalier, How to attract
foreign students, 2014

12 Aatish Zagade and Supriya P. Desai,
Brain Drain or Brain Circulation : a Study of Returnee Professionals in India,
2017

 

13 Sunita Dodani and Ronald E
LaPorte, Brain drain from developing countries: how can brain drain be
converted into wisdom gain?, 2005 p 489

1 Sunita Dodani and Ronald E LaPorte,
Brain drain from developing countries: how can brain drain be converted into
wisdom gain?, 2005

2 John Gibson and David McKenzie, The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain
Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries,
2005