Causes and Consequences of Brain Drain

There are various situations or incidences that are associated with the existence of brain drain within a country. Some of these causes that result to brain drain as described in this article include low salaries and inefficient working condition, political instability and search for further quality education.

Causes of Brain Drain

Low Salaries and inefficient Working Conditions
Low salaries and inefficient working conditions can be taken to be a motivating factor towards a countries brain drain. Most the skilled laborers who are not well paid in their country tend to move to other countries where their skills can be fully recognized by increase in salaries or allowances in the place of work. For instance, in developed countries, researchers are provided with funds and necessary equipment to carry out study. This attracts those researchers from the developing countries who are deprived of these opportunities. As a result most scientists in underdeveloped countries who do not get easy access to laboratory facilities or sufficient funds move to those developed countries which offer these facilities (Talash, 2010).

Political Instability
Political instability in home countries makes people to loose confidence in their governments and future prospects for a better life. These are individuals who may have difficulties because of their ethnic, cultural, religion belongings or being a member of opposition political groupings in their home countries.

Political turmoil is mainly linked to the failure of economic development. As pressures of poverty, rapid population growth, disease and illiteracy and environmental degradation mount, they produce a volatile cocktail of insecurity resulting into war, civil strife, riots and other forms of political violence. This leads to the displacement of large numbers of people as migrants, refugees, or asylums to other countries. According to Papadimitriou both internal and regional conflicts, often based on religion and ethnicity, are precipitating unprecedented high levels of brain drain (Gordon, 1998).

Search for further quality education
Brian drain occurs mostly where individuals from undeveloped countries move to the developed countries in need to expand their studies. Consequently, most of these learners opt not to return to their countries but decide to dwell in the foreign countries and work after gaining the adequate skills.

Lack of proper systems in the education sector has also resulted to the inadequacy of school facilities that offer abstract ideas on what the learners intend to achieve at the end of a lesson. This has made most of them to move to other countries whose education systems are quit more improved and the schools have adequate and relevant facilities of learning. Thus, the systems in the education sector needs to be looked into. This may have a positive impact in reducing the levels of students and workers who move to other countries in search of good schooling and availability of adequate facilities to help improve their careers.

Consequences of Brain Drain

In the first instance, when individuals migrate to other countries they are more vibrant and energetic thus they play a great role in building the economy of that country in the name that they are getting greener pastures. In the long run these individuals find that these countries grow in terms of development due to the availability of qualified and skilled personnel in various fields. However, the previous country is left with no skilled personnel thus it lacks behind in terms of development and growth in the economic sector in general (Tevera, 2004).

Consistently, Brain Drain slows the rate of investments in a country. This is simply because investments move with people (Gordon, 1998). Therefore, if more people keep moving from one country to other countries, they also move with their investments thus adding up to under-development or under investment on the available local resources of the country.

Brain drain adversely affects both parts of the GDP equation. First, the size of the labor force is diminished. Second, it is agreed by most that it is the most intelligent and capable that are being lured away to the developed nations for these greater opportunities and/or higher after-tax incomes. Therefore, it can be seen that the brain drain often results in missed opportunities, reduced growth, lower employment and reduced overall tax revenue.

Further Reading

Talash, I. (2010) Causes of Brain Drain, Retrieved 9th September, 2011 from

Gordon, A. (1998) The New Diaspora-African immigration to the U.S.A, Journal of Third World Studies, Vol. XV, pp.80-81, USA

Tevera, D. (2004) Emigration Potential of the Skills Base of Zimbabwe, Harare:Southern African Migration Project.