Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Brain Drain? Try again.

Beyond brain drain

Human capital increasingly votes with its feet

The shift of workers abroad used to be called “brain drain”. But Manpower argues that this scarcely captures the complexity today's increasingly globalised “market for talent”. It proposes a lexicon of no less than six categories of brain mobility.

Along with brain drain, which is when a country loses more educated brains than it can replace, there is the even more negative “brain waste”: when people go abroad to do work that pays better but is less skilled than what they would do at home.

Brain export” is the more positive version of drain and waste. This happens when educated workers leave their home countries but more than pay for their absence through remittances, technology transfer and boosting their native countries' workforce when they return.

Brain globalisation” is simply the recognition that international mobility of skilled human capital is now an integral part of life in multinational companies and the global economy. “Brain circulation” refers to skilled workers moving between countries to ply their trade. “Brain exchange” is when multinational firms move skilled workers between their operations in different countries—having cosmopolitan workers, especially executives, is increasingly seen as a competitive advantage in leading global companies. (More...)

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