03 fevereiro 2012

Fuga de cérebros

Segundo Robert Guest, a fuga de cérebros (brain drain,em inglês) gera consequências econômicas positivas para os países em desenvolvimento:

Like many rich countries, Britain imports planeloads of medical personnel like my wife's midwife from poor countries like Nigeria; without them, Britain's hospitals could barely function. But this transfer of intellectual capital raises a troubling question: Is it fair for rich countries to poach talent from poor ones? After all, it seems intuitive that "brain drain" hurts the poor. Frank Dobson, when serving as Britain's health secretary, called it an "international disgrace." If all the best doctors and engineers move to the West, who will staff hospitals or build railways in Nigeria or Bangladesh? Simple justice, it would seem, requires that rich countries should stop recruiting doctors and engineers from poor ones.

Or does it? One of the most surprising findings in modern economics is that the brain drain reduces global poverty. On balance, the outflow of talent from poor countries to rich ones is actually good for poor countries -- and even more so for poor people, since many escape poverty by emigrating.

Migration makes poor countries better off in several ways. First, the prospect of earning big bucks working abroad spurs more people to acquire marketable skills. They scrape together college fees and stay late in the library. Having qualified as doctors or engineers, many will promptly emigrate. But many will not. Some will fail to obtain a visa; others will stay behind to look after their aging parents.

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