Abdul Karim Bangura takes us back to a previous discussion:
Thanks to the winter break, I finally found time to re-read with great interest the many postings on this forum dealing with the issue of "brain drain." In the absence of methodologically grounded findings on the topic, I am beginning to wonder whether we have uncritically accepted a concept that is lacking scientific import.
"Brain drain" from one country to another typically, albeit not exclusively, is perceived to be from the developing to the developed country. In a small number of cases in which the flow is from one developed country to another, it is said to be the consequence of the immigrant's inability to maximize his/her economic potential in his home country.
The major empirical studies of which I am aware are those by Gould and
Findlay (1994), Choi (1995), Cao (1996), Johnson and Regets (1998) and
Carrington (1999). From these works, which lack methodological rigor, two major findings emerge.
The first of these findings is that the education of the immigrant plays a major role in the immigration decision. The largest group of immigrants in these studies came with secondary education from other
North American countries; the second largest group consisted of highly
educated immigrants from Asia and the Pacific, with those from the Philippines being the largest in the latter group. The same is then said of immigrants from Africa.
The problem with these works is that they are marred by a serious
methodological shortcoming: i.e. a large number of the estimates is based on missing data. Thus, much serious empirical work is needed before a definitive statement can be made about "brain drain."
The second major finding proffers a "brain circulation." These works suggest that many foreign-born scholars return home after finishing their education or engage in a cycle of work abroad.
These works also suffer from serious methodological shortcomings. To begin with, the survey samples are comprised of foreign-born scientists and engineers. Next, of the half of all foreign doctoral students who are estimated to leave the United States after obtaining their degrees, the percentage is not uniform among the countries of origin. Also, the exact percentage is not provided for those who are estimated to network with their counterparts back home.
If a definitive study exists on the subject, please refer me to it and put this posting in the proverbial "File 13."--:))
Here Is Wishing You A Prosperous New Year!!!