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brain drain

By asponbelin Oct 09, 2013 1938 Words

Concept and magnitude of brain drain
Migration of people as a phenomenon differs from country to country and from time to time. It is misleading to generalise about the possible effects of migration from LDCs. But even more fundamentally, one can argue that different studies are measuring differing things. All migrations cannot be justifiably brought within a single analytic umbrella, though it has been so done in the contemporary literature on the subject. Migration of HQM from LDCs may be due to several different sets of underlying social, political and economic forces. The phenomenon of migration of high quality manpower can justify the use of the expression on the term "brain drain", but one has to be cautious in using the expression drain indiscriminately. To replace "drain" by a more general and value-free expression like "migration", the distinction may be emphasised by saying that while all brain drain constitutes brain migration, brain migration does not necessarily constitute brain drain. A classification of brain migration comprising the brain drain as well has been discussed later in this chapter. Brain drain represents the defacto transfer of resources spent on imparting education and nurturing technical skills of the drained brain in question by the parent country (DCs) to the country of the transfer. The developed nations concerned saves her pounds and dollars on professional education and training and in the process obtains the services of trained doctors/ engineers who/earn very much more than their native counter parts and have more comfortable styles of living. - 2 -

The main crux of the matter is that emigrants as they enter developed countries are often in the most productive phase of his professional life and by the time they returns back, if they do, they are often spent force with wrong ideas not suited even for their native underdeveloped countries. There is thus a loss of human capital in excess of the normal contractual process of migration. There have been several efforts to define the concept of brain drain, mainly by international organisations. For example, we can read the following in a 1969 UNESCO report ...."the brain drain could be defined as an abnormal form of scientific exchange between countries, characterized by a one- way flow in favour of the most highly developed countries". One of the most comprehensive report the main characteristics of brain drain as follows : a) There are numerous flows of skilled and trained persons from developing to developed countries; b) They are characterised by large flows from a comparatively small number of developed countries and by small flows from a larger number of developing countries; c) In these flows engineers, medical personnel and scientists usually tend to predominate; d) The above flows have grown with increasing rapidity in recent years; e) The higher the level of skill/training, the greater the susceptibility to migration tends to be f) The flows respond increasingly to the changed

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economic complexity of world societies and to legislation which reflects the demands of a new era. g) The migratory trends are stimulated both by the character of national educational systems by lack and inadequate planning for the training of students from developing countries, in developed states as well as the proper utilisation of their-skills in their home country; and h) Except possibly for south America, there are no signs that the migration of talents is decreasing and there are fairly definite signs that its increase will, under present conditions, continue to accelerate. As a Political problem:

when the best of professional manpower leave their home country and settle in a more developed one, it is a political phenomenon, but it only rarely occures that the motives are exclusively political. It involves peculiar contradiction; it simultaneously indicates the lack of production and over production of professional manpower on the drained country. In this sense, brain drain is a symtomatic phenomenon, but at the same time it is expressive of a fundamental difficulty. To some extent it has an objective basis, as the attraction of a more developed country compared with those of the less developed ones has always existed in the course of history The net effect of this is that the development of science and technology has been accelerated in the developed countries and has been slowed down in the drained countries - 4 -

An economic problem:
The economic aspect of brain drain cannot be divorced from the political aspect. First of all, it should be emphasised that it is in contradiction with the great international economic and political objective, namely the narrowing of the gap between the developed and the under developed countries. It expresses at the same time the complexity and the inter-dependence of different societies, it derives from disproportionate economic, technological and scientific development of the developed and the developing countries, entailing contradiction in the training of professional manpower and ability to satisfy the several demands for this group. It is characteristic of brain drain that the more underdeveloped a country is economically, the more it loses by brain drain while only developed countries profit from the process. It occurs through a complicated interplay of direct an] indirect economic `push' and `pull' factors. It is stimulated by the lack of an educational system as well as the absence of a manpower policy in most of the under developed countries, these deficiencies normally hindering the really efficient use of those qualified as well as those having talent. As against this, there are higher living standards and better research and working opportunities of the more developed country, which provides thousands of possibilities for developing human potential. In addition to these objective economic factors brain drain is also stimulated by the actually realized intention of the developed countries to acquire intellectual capital free, and quick as possible. - 5 -

As psycho-social problem:
The main flow of brain drain as a change of domicile starts from the under developed countries towards the developed one, due to social, cultural and psychological factors due to references for living in certain countries, A large number move from few LDCs to certain DCs and ;at the same time a less number of HQM move from a large number of LDCs. The major geographical direction of brain drain is fro the South to the North, i.e. from Latin America to the United States, from Africa to Europe and to the U. S. and from the East to the West, i.e. from the Asian non-socialist countries to Europe, and from Europe to the united States and also from Asian countries to the middle East North African (MENA) Nations. It is a fact that human capital as strategic resource is flowing out of economies where it can make the greatest contribution to human welfare, into economies already well developed and having large number of trained, capable, scientific and administrative personnel. Of course, the latter under produce in relation to their needs and, therefore, import talent. Classification of Brain Migration:

In a wider perspective than brain drain only, brain migration may be of the following types: a) Brain over flow;
b) Brain expoert;
c) Brain exchange; and
d) Brain drain.
Brain over flow:-
Due to the over production or low rate of utilization of brain, some of the brains may remain wholly unabsorbed/ surplus because of effective demand/excess supply at home, such brain spill over and get absorbed in a foreign market. Brain migration of this type is called brain overflow. Baldwin (1970) mainly depends on this type of brain migration and it is also implicit in the analysis of Internationalist model. In many LDCs, unplanned and comparatively cheap education added up with unemployment problems have produced a lot of unemployed skilled labour. For instance, in January, 1965, there were 75,000 unemployed engineers in India. India every year produces many more economists and statisticians than she could provide with job. In Latin America, out of 600,000 professionals having university qualifications, only 25% are employed productively. (UNITAR, 1971). In Nigeria, 63% of the students in higher education qualify in social services where the counter needs maximum of 40%. In fact, educated unemployment problem which is the genesis of the brain overflow is to be witnessed in many LDCS, more particularly in Columbia, China, India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and South Korea. The surplus/unutilized brain power may arise due to (i) over production, (ii) low employment generation (iii) non-availability of suitable job where brain may be optimally utilized (iv) existing brain power lacking in experience/competence for the available jobs requiring a fairly high standard of efficiency, excellence and - 7 -

training. Surplus brain power may be interpreted both in absolute and relative senses. In quantitative term, there may be over production of brain, and qualitatively the jobs may be too good for the brains or the brains may be too good for the jobs, leading to non-utilization of brain power in ;a given economy. Surplus brain power has zero opportunity cost. The migration of this surplus brain constitutes an overflow and is not at all harmful, rather it is considered helpful for the solution of general unemployment problem. (b) Brain expoert:-

Brain migration may take the form of brain export by the sending country. The brain exporting country receives in exchange for brain, remittances continuously over a number of years. The payment may be spread over a number of years in the form of remittance of tax, it mat be a once-for ever lump sum exit tax. A consolidated price for the export of the commodity brain power may also be realised from the importing country But the computational method that can be applied to price fixation of brain has obvious limitation. Market price of brain power does not very often reflect its public cost. In the case of brain export, the exchange price must be equal to the public and private cost of brain. Since the outgoing human capital from, LDCS mostly received only the private cost, and not the social cost, such as an outflow cannot be considered to constitute brain export. However it cannot be denied that it is very difficult to calculate the social cost; and shadow price keeps on changing - 8 -

alongwith the time horizon. If the rate of return is sufficient to cover the domestic opportunity cost of the transferred brain, it may be looked upon as a case of brain export. For the purpose of export, a country will do best to produce that brain power in whose production it has the comparative advantage. The export of such brain power will be the best for both the trading partners. Some countries that cannot absorb human capital in their own economies such as Barbados and Phillipines, deliberately train people for export. Some compensation for the human capital migration by the countries inflow to the countries of overflow has been suggested by Boudlin and Wantabe. As a payment for human capital import, the Government of recipient country could refund a fixed percentage of immigrants income tax to the country of origin. It is no doubt a fact that a large number of countries sending brain power abroad receive remittances (UNITAR, 1970). Unless the remittances over the private and Public cost on opportunity cost of migrants, the brain migration cannot be said to be of have brain export category. (c) Brain Exchange:

Brain migration may be in form of exchange of scholars,researchers and students between LDCs and DCs/ between LDCs themselves for the purpose of mutual benefits in terms of knowledge, expertise and training. Such type of brain migration can more appropriately be called brain exchange. Brain exchange is temporary phenomenon where brain loss is compensated by corresponding brain gain.

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