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Promoting return and circular migration of the highly skilled

Author

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  • Hercog, Metka

    () (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht University)

  • Siegel, Melissa

    () (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht University)

Abstract

Migration of skilled workers from developing countries has increased substantially in recent years. Traditionally, such patterns raised fears on the ground of the associated 'brain drain' as human capital formation is considered to be of central importance to the development and reduction of poverty levels. Therefore, any loss of skilled workers through migration was considered harmful to the achievement of development goals. In contrast, the new body of literature emphasizes the positive incentive and feedback effects which skilled migration has on sending countries' development as well as on other stakeholders. While most papers on the impacts of migration on development focus on remittances and low-skilled migration, we emphasize the effects of skilled return migrants which bring about the transfer of knowledge and skills. This paper examines five levels of policy concerning the mobility of skilled workers. Because of their differing positions, we examine the position of sending and receiving countries with regard to skilled migration separately. We look at receiving country policies, sending country policies, bilateral approaches, regional approaches and global approaches. This paper first explores what options are theoretically discussed at the five levels of analysis. Secondly, we observe what kinds of policies are actually used in practice and which policies show some evidence of success. We also systematically discuss the advantages and disadvantages (or limitations) of each policy option.

Suggested Citation

  • Hercog, Metka & Siegel, Melissa, 2011. "Promoting return and circular migration of the highly skilled," MERIT Working Papers 2011-015, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2011015
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2011/wp2011-015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rodolfo Barrere & Lucas Luchilo & Julio Raffo, 2004. "Highly Skilled Labour and International Mobility in South America," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2004/10, OECD Publishing.
    2. Dustmann, Christian, 2003. "Return migration, wage differentials, and the optimal migration duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 353-369, April.
    3. Michaela Trippl & Gunther Maier, 2010. "Knowledge spillover agents and regional development," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 229-233, June.
    4. Peter Hall, 2005. "Brain drains and brain gains: causes, consequences, policy," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(11), pages 939-950, November.
    5. Thomas Liebig & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2005. "Taxation, Ethnic Ties and the Location Choice of Highly Skilled Immigrants," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 24, OECD Publishing.
    6. Yevgeny Kuznetsov & Charles F. Sabel, 2006. "Global Mobility of Talent from a Perspective of New Industrial Policy: Open Migration Chains and Diaspora Networks," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-144, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Solimano, Andres, 2006. "Mobilizing Talent for Global Development," Working Paper Series UNUPB7/2006, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Martineau, Tim & Decker, Karola & Bundred, Peter, 2004. ""Brain drain" of health professionals: from rhetoric to responsible action," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-10, October.
    9. Straubhaar, Thomas, 2000. "International mobility of the highly skilled: Brain gain, brain drain or brain exchange," HWWA Discussion Papers 88, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    return migration; highly skilled; migration; immigration; skilled migration; developing countries; human capital; skills;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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