Consequences of the Shift of Talented Human Capital




Migration has turned into an undisputed phenomenon with game changing attributes in the modern world. Countries that are lurking with substantive advantages because of their economic superiority over others are looking to utilize this opportunity presented in the form of “migration”. People with valuable skills have very high demand internationally[1], which amplify their chances of migration exponentially as they will be an asset for any country, they will step their foot in. Though it is discretionary upon the individual that whether they should migrate or not[2] but mostly the decision is influenced, and a flow of increasing high skill migration is observed because of the attraction by the nations that are economically, technologically and politically much developed[3]. This has become a major cause of concern, because it is helping the ones that are powerful to widen the gap while keeping the powerless at bay.

Reasons & Current Scenario

High skills migration is basically derived by 3 fundamental derivatives and these are individuals seeking better lifestyle, government polices to lure talented individuals and institutions, firms, companies pursuing for scarce expertise.[4]Nations having flexible immigration policy and coupled with plethora of leading universities, high-tech firms, and research centers have turned into most desired destinations for such migration. This is mainly seen in the developed nations to add to their already existing high status. This has actually centralized the flow of talents towards developed countries. If we look at the countries from where individuals have won the most amounts of Novel Prizes, we will notice that bulk of those names are affiliated with institutions based in America & Europe while more than half of those individuals have a different origin country.[5] Though countries in these continents maintain strict procedure regarding immigration but they have a somewhat soft corner for skilled migrants as it serves their interest.

Consequence & Possible Remedy

Such migration has also made us witness the other side of coin as countries being provider of these immigrants are suffering from major brain drain and have found themselves in unequal situation. These countries spend from their limited resources to train these workers but are unable to keep them as they get attracted towards a brighter destiny and in the process are subject to various backlogs. To fight against this massive outburst, countries should adapt to certain policies such as imposing “mandatory service period”, like some developing countries have adopted.[6] This will surely give these nations a fighting chance to closer the humongous gap with the developed nations.


High skill migration is definitely a major hurdle in the path of developing & least developed country as it leaves them in a vulnerable state. But it’s visible from here that, by adapting some certain measures this can be tackled which will definitely pave a way for a major scope of development.


[1] See WINKELMANN et al. (2001), WINKELMANN (2002), and KUNZE and WARD (2002)


[2]This refers to the right to “selfdetermination”, which is the right of a people to determine its own destiny.


[3] See BAUER, HAISKEN-DENEW, and SCHMIDT (2003) for a brief survey of recent developments in international migration.


[4] Masood Gheasi and Peter Nijkamp, ‘A Brief Overview of International Migration Motives and Impacts, with Specific Reference to FDI’, 21 August 2017.

[5] Adil Najam, Dean of Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, America’s Nobel Success is the Story of Immigrants’, ,Last accessed on February 28, 2017.

[6]The Economist, ‘Preventing the brain drain’, , Last accessed on September 6th 2017.


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