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Contemporary “brain drain”: mutually beneficial exchange of highly skilled workers or a process that increases inequality between countries?

Vladimir Iontsev, Moscow State University
Anastasia Mogilat, Moscow State University

The paper deals with the analysis of different definitions of ‘brain drain’ and the authors’ own definition of it as ‘non-return migration of specialists, with regard to whom receiving countries use purposeful policies attracting immigrants’. The past 50 years have brought significant changes in international migration, caused in particular by the collapse of the former USSR and the whole socialist system. For a better understanding of the contemporary situation, we have analyzed the variety of factors affecting migration of skilled specialists, using econometrical methods and data from the World Bank research of ‘brain drain’ to the OECD countries (2006), as well as national data sources. According to our research, some of the factors analyzed are not one-digit. For example, differences in educational systems in sending and receiving countries are able to increase or reduce the scale of the ‘brain drain’. Another aspect is connected with inefficient employment of migrants (example of Russia).

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Presented in Session 8: The international migration of highly skilled workers