Brain Drain


Brain Drain is a worldwide phenomena in which there is a large emigration of individuals with technical skills or knowledge, normally due to conflict, lack of opportunity, political instability, or health risks. It is also known as Human Capital Flight. Brain drain has an economic cost as emigrants usually take with them the fraction of value of their training sponsored by the government. Not only this it is also similar to Capital Flight or Economic Drain as this process directly and indirectly results in movement of finance. The term Brain Drain was coined by the Royal Society to describe the emigration of "scientists and technologists" to North America from post-war Europe. Education seems to play a key role influencing native-foreign country migration in the developing countries.Numbers of studies of migration in many countries have documented the positive relationship between the educational accomplishment of an individual and his or her interest to migrate from native to foreign country.

The opposite phenomenon to Brain Drain is Brain Gain, which occurs when there is a large-scale immigration of technically qualified persons. Brain drain can be stopped by providing individuals who have expertise with career opportunities and giving them opportunities to prove their capabilities. Brain drains are common amongst developing nations, such as the former colonies of Africa, certain regions of Asia, the island nations of the Caribbean, and particularly in centralized economies such as former East Germany and the Soviet Union, where marketable skills are not financially rewarded.

Causes of Brain Drain
  • Lack of employment makes graduates emigrate where they are highly successful.
  • Low salaries for the same jobs compared to the native country also initiates this process.
  • Political Instability in political structure creates conducive situation for Brain Drain.
  • Internal Conflicts like Communal conflicts often lead to war like situations affecting the overall stability.
  • Higher Studies also lure students who are unable to find the same in their respective countries. Such students generally never return back to their homeland.
  • Tax system of certain countries like high personal tax rate, including capital gains tax, and high corporate tax rate represent one the biggest cause of brain drain.
  • Better Opportunities and Facilities are also the cause of Brain Drain. These opportunities and facilities include ample funding, availability of jobs and encouraging entrepreneurial environment. Availability of work in high-skill occupations is well paid as compared to their counterparts who remained in their Native country
Outcome / Effects of Brain Drain

Loss of meager professionals in countries which are financially weak. Poor African countries like Ethiopia become even more poorer due to Brain Drain

Brain drain threatens the economic prospects and competitiveness of an affected country. Diminished.labour force and migration of high income tax payers often results in missed opportunities, reduced growth, lower employment and reduced overall tax revenue.

Creates more Inequality in the world as advanced economies receive further benefits and the backward economies continue to be at the receiving end.

Brain drain is loss to countries of origin, because it deprives these countries from the innovations of their professionals. Such countries have become culturally and technologically dependent on the West.

Measures to Prevent Brain Drain

Honest governance at the national and international level is the need of the hour. Special attention is needed towards the maintenance of reasonable security for peoples' lives and property which is essential for economic progress. Which will result in withholding political and economical emigrants, who blame their government's failure for political unrest and stagnant economic growth is possible.

Transparency in leadership is essential and should be maintained.

Tax Relief from various costly taxes which is an effective way to curb Brain Drain.

Higher wages for the Native's according to their qualifications is essential, instead of overestimating and hiring expatriates, which are more costly.

Quality of Education should be improved. Quality Education plays a powerful role especially in the growing problems of international migration. Expanding a better educational infrastructure will definitely prevent emigrants who are seeking a higher education abroad.

Withholding of academic degrees until the graduates return and are willing to serve the people, can be another considerable alternative

Another measure could be, taxing emigrants who are endogenously trained in home countries. It is a sensitive issue and may potentially infringe on the basic human right and freedom to chose the nature and location of individuals where to live and where to work. But it can be agreed upon by the international community and international laws.

Since Native Countries are also the stakeholders of Brain Drain, an agreement can be made between rich and poor countries that prohibits the rich from taking intellectuals of the poorer states.
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