Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rich Countries Should Compensate Poor Countries for Loss of Skilled Labor, According to Center for Global Development Report

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Migration of skilled individuals from developing countries to rich countries can have far-reaching negative impacts on those left behind, and the rich countries should consider policies for mitigating these impacts, according to a new book from the Center for Global Development.

The book, Give Us Your Best and Brightest: The Global Hunt for Talent and Its Impact on the Developing World, documents convincingly that rich countries are increasingly seeking to attract highly skilled workers from developing countries, to strengthen their global competitiveness and to shore up their work forces and tax roles in order to off-set the effects of rapidly aging populations.

"The idea that the migration of a significant fraction of a country's best and brightest is not particularly harmful and may even be beneficial to the country is simply unwarranted," the authors write. "If people of talent and drive are essential for building institutions, then their loss can have severe consequences."

Despite this and other negative impacts, such as the loss of desperately needed health care workers, the authors do not generally recommend that developing countries restrict the emigration of educated, skilled workers.
Instead they propose a variety of measures that rich and developing countries can take. Most strikingly, the authors support Jagdish Bhagwati's longtime proposal that rich countries compensate poor countries for the loss of skilled labor.

CGD President Nancy Birdsall said that publication of the book, in preparation for two years, marked the start of the Center's broader investigation into cross-border flows of people and their causes and consequences for developing countries. The book, she said, "sets out how immigration policies could be more development friendly-benefiting rich as well as developing economies."

The authors will present key findings from the book at a CGD event in Washington, DC on Oct. 18 from 4 to 6. See the CGD web site for details


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