Policy Coherence for Development 2007

Migration and Developing Countries

image of Policy Coherence for Development 2007

This edition of the Development Centre's annual report on policy coherence focuses on migration. The book examines the costs and benefits of migration for developing countries and how these flows can be better organised to yield greater benefits for all parties concerned -- migrant-sending countries, migrant-receiving countries, and the migrants themselves. It takes stock of what we know about the effects of migration on development, and distills from that knowledge a set of policy recommendations for sending and receiving countries alike. It draws on a large number of country and regional case studies co-ordinated by the OECD Development Centre to illustrate the mechanisms that link migration and development: labour-market effects, brain drain, remittances, diaspora networks and return migration.

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The Brain Drain and Negative Social Effects: When is the Home Country Hurt?

OECD Development Centre

The available information on the brain drain, its consequences and the professions most affected is insufficient to make sweeping generalisations. The area most affected by high emigration rates of the highly educated population is sub-Saharan Africa. The potential costs can be great: brain drain means loss of skills for the source country, loss of ideas and innovation, loss of the nation’s investment in education and loss of tax revenues, but most importantly, perhaps, the loss of critical services in the health and education sectors. “Brain overflow” in receiving countries can lead to misuse and subsequent downgrading of professional skills of migrants. There are other costs of emigration borne by sending countries: among them social effects which can create regional inequalities, and strains on families and gender roles, children and their schooling, and crime.

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