2003 October 22 Wednesday
One Seventh Of German Science Doctorates Move To America

The Scientist has an interesting article on the German scientific brain drain to the United States. (requires free registration)

Every seventh person with a doctorate in science leaves Germany for the United States. And three of the four Germans who have won a Nobel Prize are currently working in the United States, noted Markus Albers in Die Welt am Sonntag.


“We don't have proper career paths, people are paid according to set bands and not according to their performance. In America, scientists can earn three times as much,” Schwarz said.

This is a strong indicator that the European countries are going to continue to lag the United States in innovation and economic growth. Though it would be beneficial to the general advance of science if they improved salaries, mechanisms for handling out grants, and the general regulatory environment to give their scientists more incentive and resources to work there. All the scientists of Europe would get more work done and not just the ones that move to the United States.

The smaller numbers of more talented immigrants such as these German scientists are often pointed to as examples of the benefits of open immigration policies for the United States. But it would be simple enough to formulate immigration policies that let in these kinds of immigrants in even larger numbers while simultaneously greatly reducing the immigration of less skilled workers who will, on average, contribute far less while costing far more.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 October 22 01:42 AM  Immigration Brain Drain

Sean O'Callaghan said at October 22, 2003 8:37 PM:

The article mentions that a lot of these emigrants are in the biotech field. While it cites a lack of money as the primary cause it overlooks the luddite anti-GE stance taken by EUrinal governments. Perhaps we should be looking for a similar exodus of power system specialists once the EUnichs begin implementing the recommendations of the (thanks to the Russians and Australians) defunct Kyoto boondoggle.

Scott said at November 10, 2003 10:30 PM:

I really would appreciate any letters of indication with regard to magazines or posts of an intellectual query.

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