I’ve always thought of the “brain drain” in primarily economic terms. Because of national and social barriers to labour mobility as well as search frictions for both employers and employees, earnings across countries vary widely even within the same industries.
Wages depend more on national level demand and supply, and international arbitrage of wages is at best imperfect. It’s easier for some companies to pull up sticks than to shift labour around the globe to where its needed.
But for some industries, such as primary industries or personal care, that’s simply not possible. That implies that overall global welfare can be improved if we can improve labour mobility, raising supply where demand is the highest.
In that spirit, here’s the BBC’s attempt at reducing search friction (excerpt):
Around the world, there are a number of professions in high demand for the pool of 200 million international migrants.
The need for nurses and doctors is perhaps the best known, but there are also countries short of chefs, in for example Belgium and the UK.
And psychologists looking for a change of scene could try the Nordic countries, where they are in demand in many of whom
Use the interactive guide below to explore the top 20 most wanted professionals and the countries that want their skills. You can also read case studies of professionals who have made the move to another country.