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The `Brain Gain Hypotheses` of Transition Countries Elites and Socioeconomic Development in Their Home Country (Albanian Emigrants in Italy Sample)


  • Brunilda Zenelaga

    () (University Aleksandër Moisiu)

  • Kseanela Sotirofski

    () (University Aleksandër Moisiu)


Migration of high skilled workers, known as brain drain, is a relatively spread phenomena in both developed and developing countries. The brain drain phenomenon of the countries of the South-East Europe is determined to a large extent by common "push factors’ such as troubled economies, political instability, severe unemployment, and lack of respect of human rights, including the right to work. All these are especially true for post-communist societies, which are faced with the challenge of including the educated elite in the transition reforms that must take place to intensify bonds with the European Union. Brain gain consists of those "pull factors”, policies and strategies which create the conditions for encouraging the return of qualified nationals. From a point of view of duration, degree and impact on the development of the country, Albania constitutes the most striking example of brain drain in South East Europe. Indeed, Albania has one of the highest emigration rates in the world: during the 1990s almost 40% of lecturers and researchers left the country. Among these, 66% hold a PHD title. There are many examples of experts and students who study in Italy, and it is estimated that only 5% of them will return. Several reasons may explain the massive migration of high skilled workers from Albania, but this study is limited with those who went to Italy for study reasons. The main aim of the study is to carry out the main issues related to the reasons why the Albanians study in Italy and the ways they can be motivated to turn back and contribute to Albanian socio-economic development. A brief summary of related literature review, some qualitative data collected from semi-structured in-depth interview with 37 Master and Ph.D. students studying in Italy will be analyzed. The interviewed persons had emigrated for a better education. Among all traditional factors that determine the possible brain gain to Albania the authors find that the factors like socio-economic state, higher education system, government politics related to the orientation of returned students studying abroad, the teaching of democratic and transparency feelings and thoughts, the promoting of European rights and values, freedom, solidarity and security and the notification of European universities as an actor on the global stage are statistically important. Also some statistical data from CESS (Center for Economic and Social Studies) and Institute of Statistics related to Brain Gain process in the country will also be analyzed. This paper also attempts to assess the future trends of Albanians` move to Italy for study reasons and the turning scale to the country after their studies.

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  • Brunilda Zenelaga & Kseanela Sotirofski, 2011. "The `Brain Gain Hypotheses` of Transition Countries Elites and Socioeconomic Development in Their Home Country (Albanian Emigrants in Italy Sample)," Working Papers 46, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  • Handle: RePEc:laa:wpaper:46

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2004. "Skilled migration: the perspective of developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3382, The World Bank.
    3. Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, April.
    4. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
    5. Karin Mayr & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Return Migration as Channel of Brain Gain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0804, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    6. Di Maria, Corrado & Stryszowski, Piotr, 2009. "Migration, human capital accumulation and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 306-313, November.
    7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    brain gain; brain drain; migration; transition;

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