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Out-migration of highly-skilled labour force as a tool for sustainable economic development: the case of Jordan

Beatrice Knerr, University of Kassel
Rasha Istaiteyeh, University of Kassel
Nadim Zaqqa, University of Kassel

Since the 1970ies, Jordan is a major global "exporter" of high-qualified labour force. It supports mainly oil-exporting countries in the Middle East, but also European countries and the U.S. with highly-demanded human capital. While in previous studies about the impact of labour export on economic development, the author, in concordance with many others, arrived at the conclusion that labour export, although providing economic stimulus in the short term poses a threat to long-term economic development, research on the case of Jordan challenges this argument: The paper shows that out-migration of high-skilled labour force might significantly contribute to long-term economic growth and expanding employment, if framed by an inductive economic policy. The analysis concentrates on three key aspects: out-migration of domestically-educated high-potentials, remittances, and the role of returnees in Jordan's higher-education system.

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Presented in Session 44: The role of highly skilled workers in socio-economic development