High-Skill Migration as a Positive-Sum Relationship for Tradable Services: The Case of India and the United States




Davis, Theodore

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The concept of brain drain contends that the migration of highly-skilled individuals benefits receiving countries at the expense of sending countries. Though research supports this concept, several cases have been documented whereby a positive-sum relationship evolved for services that can be characterized as tradable. The research presented herein seeks to understand the extent of the relationship between the nature of a service (those classified as tradable or nontradable) and the positive-sum growth in human capital through a case study of high-skill migration scenarios. The study focuses on the migration relationship between India and the United States--one of the world's largest high-skill flows. Further, the study is conducted at the sectoral level, including the information technology, medical services, and post-secondary education (academic) sectors. To gain a rich understanding of the migration relationships, the field research is based on 50 personal interviews and 512 survey responses of high-skilled immigrants and subject matter experts across the United States in the three sectors.



Public policy, Brain drain, Circular migration, High-skill migration, Immigration, India, Transnational communities