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National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Research Issues in the International Migration of Highly Skilled Workers: A Perspective with Data from the United States

Conclusion

 

This paper has outlined major research and policy issues related to international high-skill migration. Simple models of brain drain and brain gain do not fully capture either the complex movement of people and knowledge across borders or the effects of this movement on knowledge creation and investments in physical and human capital. There are potential positive and negative effects of high-skill migration for both sending and receiving countries, and much research needs to be done to better understand these effects. However, clearly few of these effects are "zero sum games"—one country's gains are not necessarily another country's losses.

Beyond the sum of effects on individual countries, the global net effect of high-skill migration seems likely to be positive for both knowledge creation and economic growth and should result in more efficient use of highly skilled labor and an increased flow of knowledge.
















 
Research Issues in the International Migration of Highly Skilled Workers: A Perspective with Data from the United States
Working Paper | SRS 07-203 | June 2007