The goal of this chapter is to review the current data on global migration patterns, especially those of highly skilled migrants, and review the relevant academic literature on the determinants and impact of such patterns. High-skilled migration has been referred to as brain drain in the earlier literature, especially in the papers from the 1970s. As the academic literature further explored the role of human capital in economic development, migration of highly educated people from poorer developing to wealthier developed countries came to be viewed from a rather negative perspective. Mainly associated with Bhagwati and his co-authors (for example, Bhagwati and Hamada 1974), this predominantly theoretical literature focused mainly on the welfare and public finance implications of brain drain, especially for the poor origin countries who financed the education and were already suffering from low levels of human capital.
Kone, Z. and Özden, Ç. (2017) ‘Brain drain, gain and circulation’ in Reinert, K.A. (eds.) Handbook of Globalisation and Development.