The Reverse Brain Drain

I found a few articles about the reverse brain drain from the US back to India and China. They seem to have been going around for the past 3-4 years, but I am not doubting that the trend has picked up quite substancially in the past 18 months. The same apply to the UK, where not only Indian and Chinese leave the sinking vessel, but also the French (big part of the highly-skilled working in the financial industry), the Spanish, Italian, etc.

Here are quotes from two articles, by Vivek Wadhwa. The first one is at TechCrunch and the second at NewAmericaMedia:

Large numbers of the Valley’s top young guns (and some older bulls, as well) are seeing opportunities in other countries and are returning home. It isn’t just the Indians. Ask any VC who does business in China, and they’ll tell you about the tens of thousands who have already returned to cities like Shanghai and Beijing. The VC’s are following the talent. And this is bringing a new vitality to R&D in China and India.

[...] the average age of the Indian returnees was 30 and the Chinese was 33. They were really well educated: 51% of the Chinese held masters degrees and 41% had PhDs. Among Indians, 66% held a masters and 12% had PhDs. These degrees were mostly in management, technology, and science. Clearly these returnees are in the U.S. population’s educational top tier—precisely the kind of people who can make the greatest contribution to an economy’s innovation and growth. And it isn’t just new immigrants who are returning home, we learned. Some 27% of the Indians and 34% of the Chinese had permanent resident status or were U.S. citizens. That’s right—it’s not just about green cards.
What propelled them to return home? Some 84% of the Chinese and 69% of the Indians cited professional opportunities.
About 10% of the Indians polled had held senior management jobs in the U.S. That number rose to 44% after they returned home. Among the Chinese, the number rose from 9% in the U.S. to 36% in China.
These were a self-selected group, people who had already left. But what about the future, the immigrants presently studying at U.S. institutions of higher learning? We surveyed 1,224 foreign students from dozens of nations who are currently studying at U.S. universities or who graduated in 2008. The majority told us that they didn’t think that the U.S. was the best place for their professional careers and they planned to return home. Only 6 percent of Indian, 10 percent of Chinese, and 15 percent of European students planned to settle in the U.S.
Based on the economic downturn, my prediction is that 100,000 skilled workers will return, both to India and to China, over the next five years or so. I call this a reverse brain drain.
The other part of it is, as the Citi banks and JP Morgan's and all these large companies start laying off employees in the United States, they are returning back home. The economy recovers. If these banks can hire the same people who were working for them over there, for a fifth of the price that they can in the United States, why would they hire them in the U.S.? What's going to happen is outsourcing is likely to gain tremendous momentum over the next couple of years, because a lot of skilled talent is now available there, much more cheaply there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Better leave before the Jack Boots land on their asses...and Jews as well... (White Boy Industries)