Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration Of Skilled-Worker Mobility And Development

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Executive Summary

Large numbers of doctors, engineers, and other skilled workers from developing counties choose to move to other countries. Do their choices threaten development? The answer appears so obvious that their movement is most commonly known by the pejorative term "Brain drain". This paper reconsiders the question starting from the most mainstream, explicit definitions of "Development". Under these definitions, it is only possible to advance development by regulating skilled workers' choices if that regulation greatly expands the substantive freedoms of others to meet their basic needs and live the lives they wish.

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