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Highly skilled globetrotters: mapping the international migration of human capital

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In the final years of the twentieth century, brain drain, skills shortages and lack of career opportunities have become issues of major concern for policy-makers concerned with R&D in government, academia, and industry. Labour mobility across political borders, especially among highly skilled labour, provides a solution for the aforementioned concerns to some actors, but engenders problems to others. Drawing on various empirical investigations and on previous studies, this paper attempts to provide a mapping of the various types of human resources mobility across national borders. It argues that various groups of highly skilled persons are driven by different push and pull factors. In addition to immigration legislation, other factors, such as taxation, studying abroad, quality of work, openness in communication, business expansion overseas, labour market supply and demand signals, etc. play important role in the choice of highly skilled migrants to relocate overseas.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, World Trade Centre, Seville, Spain

Publication date: January 1, 2000


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