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Symposium 2012

Solution for Designing Intelligent Labor Migration Policies

The Challenge

While the world economy continues to become more global, international labor mobility remains severely restricted for all but those with rare or high skills. Many people in developing countries would ...

While the world economy continues to become more global, international labor mobility remains severely restricted for all but those with rare or high skills. Many people in developing countries would like to emigrate legally to work abroad but they do not qualify for admission to destination countries. This is because policy-makers typically focus on the net national economic impact when considering reforms of their labor migration policies and they naturally respond to public opinion about that impact.

Create a pilot project for "global training scholarships," matching employers in destination countries with trainees in source countries.

The pilot project would match employers, such as hospitals, in destination countries with trainees, such as nurses, in source countries. Employers would benefit from finding suitable employees and lowering their training costs, while workers would benefit from more widely available funding for vocational degrees or other training.

Internationally accredited programs for nurses in source countries and hospitals in destination countries could be matched. Wage differentials between the countries would make it plausible that trainees from such a program could pay back the grant that the employers advanced them to fund their studies within one or two years.

Such a pilot project would not promote brain drain. Indeed, it would expand the brain pool by allowing trainees to finance their education, something they would have been unable to do in absence of the pilot project.

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