Brain Drain is the Name of the Game
JANUARY 18, 2019
“Brain Drain” has often been a concern for those who study immigration and its impacts. Put simply, brain drain refers to the movement of highly skilled workers and intellectuals, like doctors and scientists, out of a country to the point that it harms the origin country’s productivity. Historically, brain drain could happen as a result of prosecution or discrimination, such as the influx of Jewish scientists from Germany to the US in the early 1900s. In the modern day, however, most brain drain is likely driven by simple economic incentives: scientists can make more money and do better work in some countries versus others.
But how does immigration policy impact brain drain? Maurice Schiff from the Institute for the Study of Labor studied the impact that different types of immigration systems could have on brain drain, and its related concept: ability drain. Specifically, Schiff studied three types of immigration systems: the “point” system, used in pre-2015 Canada; the “vetting” system, used in the US for systems like the H-1B; and the “new point” systems, used in countries like Australia and New Zealand.
Examining the impacts of these different systems, Schiff found that vetting systems, like the US H-1B program, generated larger ability drains and larger brain drains than the points systems, thus creating a more beneficial policy for the host country (the US) than those other systems. However, this also means that countries losing workers, such as India or China, are suffering at a greater rate. Schiff suggests that countries work together to provide a less impactful immigration standard.
Citation: Schiff, M. (2017). Ability drain: size, impact, and comparison with brain drain under alternative immigration policies. Journal of Population Economics, 30, 1337–1354.
但移民政策如何影响人才流失现象？来自劳动研究所的Maurice Schiff研究了不同类型的移民系统可能对人才流失产生的影响及其相关概念：人才吸收。具体而言，Schiff研究了三种类型的移民系统：2015年之前加拿大使用的 “积分” 系统; 在美国使用的 “审查” 系统; 以及澳大利亚和新西兰等国家使用的 “新积点” 系统。