Book Chapter
Student Migration to the United States and Brain Circulation

Issues, Empirical Results and Programmes in Latin America

High-skilled student migration may lead to a brain drain for developing countries. After a brief review of the literature, this chapter provides an analysis of patterns of student migration to the US. Estimates based on panel data for fifty countries over the period 1990-99 provide some limited evidence on brain drain or gain, although Latin America may be more vulnerable than other regions to brain drain. In order to fight brain drain, programmes can however be implemented in order to ensure that students who have migrated abroad return to their country of origin. Examples of three programmes implemented in Colombia and Mexico that aim to mitigate the risk of brain drain into a gain, or more generally, to optimize ‘brain circulation’ are provided.