Why Do the Brains Leave Home?
Today, the countries of the world are separated simply into three groups according to their socio-economic status: Developed countries, developing countries and undeveloped countries. One can ask such a question: Why are some countries are developed while some are not? It is easy to give a simple answer, which states that the developed countries have well-educated human resource, technological and industrial superiority relative to the others. It is obvious that the industrial and technological superiority is just a consequence of well-educated human resource. But when you investigate the origin of highly educated section of the public in developed countries, you will find out that the remarkable percentage of these people came from developing or undeveloped countries. In other words, the highly qualified graduates of developing countries emigrate to the developed countries. This phenomenon is called “brain drain” and was first noticed in the 1960s (Carrington & Detragiache, online, 1999). There are various reasons for brain drain, but they can be accumulated into two main groups: Economic reasons and psychological reasons.


To begin with, unemployment problem can be considered as an economic reason. Unemployment arises when the job opportunities of a country is far less than the number employees. In countries which suffer from unemployment, even well-educated people may have difficulties in finding jobs. And this fact creates a tendency for university students to look for jobs abroad even before they graduate. In addition to inadequate job opportunities, low salaries are also an important economic reason for brain drain. When people realize that they are earning less than their collegues in other countries, they become anxious and start to look for ways to find jobs which pay better. An interesting example given by Chu(online, 2004), illustrates this situation. “...Pagano[associate prfessor of pathology, New York University], who likens researcher migration to football transfers. ‘In soccer if you’re great another team can buy you’.” Also Dorello, a postdoctorial fellow from New York University, states that he had been earning €900 a mounth in Italy but in America he is now earning three times of that amont, which is a considerable difference (Chu, online, 2004). Moreover, the amount of money that spent by the governments that spent on reseacrh and development may indicate the direction of brain drain. For instance, in 2000 U.S. spent €287 billions, whereas E.U. spent only €166 billions on research and development (Chu, online, 2004). This significant difference may explain why Europian “brains” usually prefer to work in America. As you see, not only developing or undeveloped countries are faced with brain drain, but also most of the Europian countries suffer from this problem. In fact there are five countries, which receive 93 percent of this emigrants: U.S., Australia, Canada, France and Germany (Carrington & Detragiache, online, 1999). The rest of the countries seem to lose “brains” in varying amounts.


In addition to the economic reasons those mentioned above, there is a second group for causes of brain drain, which can be named psychological reasons. As a start, unemployment problem can be considered as a psychological problem as well as an economic one. It is not difficult to understand the feelings of a young graduate, who is under the stress of finding a job. And also it is clear that discouragement and disappointment will be inevitably felt by this individual unless he finds a suitable job. Unfortunately, finding a job does not guarantee to overcome these negative feelings, because one of the strongest reasons for brain drain is the feeling of dissatisfaction that felt by people due to their jobs. When people think that their professions are hindered by political or bureaucratic obstacles, or there is lack of competition and excitement for researches and developments, and there is no hope for cure, they start to think of the idea of emigration. Here is a good example taken from the article by Chu(online, 2004), which perfectly illustrates this situation: Claude Allégre, the former French Education Minister and also the manager of the Paris VII geochemical lab, likens French system to the old fashioned “Soviet” system, which includes too much bureaucratic obstacles for researchers, not only to buy expensive equipments but also to supply very basic materials. He also adds that he wanted to conduct his research in U.S.,