Free Essay: Impact Of Brain Drain In Developing Countries

Free Essay: Positive and Negative Impact Of Brain Drain in Developing Countries


What is brain drain?

Brain drain is defined as the migration of skilled and educated personnel from developing countries to developed countries in search of greener pastures or better employment opportunities. This concept has been widely discussed in public fora of both developed and developing countries. This is largely due to the impact it has on economic and social development of the poor developing countries and the developed destinations.

What are the impacts of brain drain in developing countries?

Brain drain is a concept that has had many effects on developing countries. While the mention of this concept almost always triggers negative perceptions, economists have established that there are actually two sides to this concept. Brain drain therefore has both positive and negative impacts yet many people always focus on the negative effects when discussing the concept.


Developing countries are always complaining about brain drain. Indeed statistics show that approximately 20,000 personnel from developing countries move to developed countries on an annual basis in search of better opportunities. The migration of such huge numbers has had a crippling effect on the economies of developing countries, most of which are left with few unmotivated skilled laborers and a pool of unskilled workers. Inevitably, this reduces the pace of development in the developing countries because there are fewer skilled personnel to implement development policies and build the nations.

Many economists have also stated that brain drain hinders development even if capital is availed to the developing countries. According to these economists, regardless of the billions of dollars being given to the developing countries in the form of aid, without adequate skilled personnel, it is impossible to achieve economic progress.

People in the developing countries also suffer from understaffing and access to essential services. Shortage of doctors, educators and other important personnel is not uncommon in the developing world and this can be attributed to brain drain. The people who end up suffering most are the common poor folk in these countries who cannot afford expensive private medical or healthcare as well as private education for their children.


On the positive front, brain drain has increased the amount of remittances flowing into the developing countries. This has definitely impacted positively on the economies of the poor countries. In many developing countries, remittances contribute heavily towards the GDP of the country and without the migration of skilled personnel to developed countries this source of income would not be possible.

In addition, most of the people who move to more developed countries often return home upon making sufficient money and investment. These personnel bring back their improved professional skills, knowledge and expertise to the developing world hence contributing towards development. They also invest heavily back home because they know that their return is imminent. This helps in developing the country in the long run.

What can be done about brain drain in developing countries?

Many have argued that developed countries should bar personnel from developing countries from migrating and seeking employment opportunities in the developed countries. Yet this can have devastating consequences including compromising human rights and giving rise to alternative illegal migration into the developed countries.

Developing countries must take responsibility and create conducive working environments for their personnel. Proper remuneration, provision of required equipment and accountability can help attract more locals to the public sector employment opportunities and reduce brain drain.

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