The Global Competition for Talent

The Global Competition for Talent

Mobility of the Highly Skilled You do not have access to this content

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16 Sep 2008
9789264047754 (PDF) ;9789264047747(print)

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This publication discusses the dimensions, significance, and policy implications of international flows of human resources in science and technology. The international mobility of highly skilled workers is increasing in scale and complexity as more economies participate in R&D and innovation activity. Mobile talent diffuses knowledge both directly and indirectly across borders. This can boost global innovation performance, with benefits accruing to both sending and receiving countries. It is clear that mobility is leading to an increasing level of labour-market internationalisation and integration, and competition for talent is now influencing innovation policy initiatives across the globe.

Most countries offer a range of policies focused on assisting and encouraging mobility, although few have a specific and coherent mobility strategy. Many nations aim to attract the same pool of highly skilled talent; thus, relying on international flows to fill existing or future gaps in supply may entail risks. Addressing shortcomings in national policies that may limit domestic supply of skilled workers, and ensuring that the wider environment for innovation and scientific endeavour is sound, are key policy challenges for countries.

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  • Executive Summary
    Alongside sustained growth in foreign direct investment (FDI), in trade and in the internationalisation of research and development (R&D), mobility of human resources in science and technology (HRST) has become a central aspect of globalisation. Migration of talent now plays an important role in shaping skilled labour forces throughout the OECD area.
  • Introduction
    This chapter sets the scene for the discussion of the mobility of the highly skilled workforce and for the policy issues arising from an increasing trend in this area.
  • Knowledge Diffusion and Impacts of International Mobility
    This chapter reviews the literature and the evidence on how the international mobility of skilled people influences the diffusion of knowledge across borders. It discusses recent analyses of the significance of the mobility of human resources in science and technology for knowledge formation and use, the motives for this migration, and the effects of mobility on both sending and receiving countries.
  • Mobility and Its Impact: Data and Evidence
    This chapter presents the available data on international mobility as a basis for exploring issues relating to the patterns of mobility and innovation, the importance of mobility of scientific and technological workers in the innovation process, and the impacts of OECD and non- OECD mobility.
  • Current Policy Approaches
    Chapter 4 provides the most recent information on current mobility policies in selected member countries, gathered via a questionnaire sent to members of the OECD’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Steering and Funding of Research Institutions. It explores the policies adopted by various OECD governments, highl ight ing commonalities and differences.
  • Looking Ahead: Mobility Policy
    Chapter 5 discusses the role of government policy in the area of international mobility of human resources for science and technology. It considers future policy options by examining the underlying rationale for government intervention, exploring the potential scope, objectives and approaches of future mobility policies and discussing the importance of the coherence between mobility policy and other government policies.
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