Reading Comprehension - Brain Drain

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Reassessing the Impacts of Brain Drain on Developing Countries

Brain Drain

Brain drain, which is the action of having highly skilled and educated people leaving their country to work abroad, has become one of the developing countries concern. Brain drain is also referred to as human capital flight. More and more third world science and technology educated people are heading for more prosperous countries seeking higher wages and better working conditions. This has of course serious consequences on the sending countries.

While many people believe that immigration is a personal choice that must be understood and respected, others look at the phenomenon from a different perspective. What makes those educated people leave their countries should be seriously considered and a distinction between push and pull factors must be made. The push factors include low wages and lack of satisfactory working and living conditions. Social unrest, political conflicts and wars may also be determining causes. The pull factors, however, include intellectual freedom and substantial funds for research.

Brain drain has negative impact on the sending countries economic prospects and competitiveness. It reduces the number of dynamic and creative people who can contribute to the development of their country. Likewise, with more entrepreneurs taking their investments abroad, developing countries are missing an opportunity of wealth creation. This has also negative consequences on tax revenue and employment.

Most of the measures taken so far have not had any success in alleviating the effects of brain drain. A more global view must take into consideration the provision of adequate working and living conditions in the sending countries. An other option should involve encouraging the expatriates to contribute their skill to the development of their countries without necessarily physically relocating.


  1. Another term for brain drain is:
    a. capital flight
    b. human capital flight
  2. To address the problem of brain drain we should understand:
    a. the causes.
    b. the effects.
  3. Brain drain has terrible consequences on the economic development of :
    a. sending countries
    b. receiving countries
  4. To limit the negative impact of brain drain, expatriates should
    a. come back to their home countries for good.
    b. try to help their home countries while staying there.
Vocabulary related to "brain drain".
Exercise on the vocabulary "related to brain drain".