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Migration of Highly Skilled Persons from Developing Countries: Impact and Policy Responses

This paper summarises a research project that looked at the impacts of high skilled emigration on developing countries and the policy options of developed countries. The authors say that while there is little doubt that skilled emigration at the levels estimated will create challenges for certain developing countries the impact of increased international mobility of skilled workers may not necessarily be negative.

They emphasise that "brain exchanges" between countries characterise all advanced economies, forming one component of the flow of goods and information in a globalising economy. A central challenge is therefore for developing countries to engage appropriately in the exchange of skills taking place in the global labour market, and to maximise on the benefits of skilled migration.

The authors recommend that developed receiving countries should play an active role in addressing the issue, for example by encouraging temporary and return migration, controlling recruitment from at risk countries, incorporating mechanisms that encourage developing country economic growth, and assisting with diaspora arrangements. They conclude that the best means of addressing developing country skill shortages over the long run is to improve education, training and targetted economic deveopment.