2008 April 30 Wednesday
High Salaries In India Reduce Allure Of West For Tech Workers

Tech workers in India find work in Western countries less appealing as opportunities and salaries in India increase.

Between 1964 and 2001 (when the economy was sluggish), 35 per cent of the nation's most promising graduates moved abroad, according to research conducted by the Delhi-based organisation, Evalueserve, but from 2002 onwards (the period when India's GDP began to soar) only 16 per cent chose to leave. Now, the research suggests, the West no longer seems synonymous with wealth and opportunity. Asked to predict which country would 'hold the most promise for success' in 10 years' time, 72 per cent of the 677 IIT graduates surveyed named India, with only 17 per cent citing the US, 5 per cent Europe, and just 2 per cent China. The number who feel the US offers a better standard of living than India has fallen since 2001 from 13 per cent to almost zero. The study is a clear sign that the lamented flight of India's best students, which has troubled the government for decades, may be reversing, in tandem with the turnaround in economic prospects.

Another recent analysis argues the United States isn't getting the best and brightest among skilled H-1B visa workers. Well, that's not why employers use H-1B workers. The advantage of H-1B is that the workers are cheaper than natives at the same skill level. If the average skill level from abroad is lower that doesn't matter as long as some tasks do not require the highest skills. The main goal in using foreign workers is to cut labor costs.

If more skilled workers will find the United States increasingly less appealing then the mix of immigrants will shift even more heavily toward those with little or no skills. We need an immigration policy that keeps out the less able.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 April 30 08:31 PM  Immigration Brain Drain


Comments
Kenelm Digby said at May 1, 2008 3:27 AM:

If you believe this, the you'll believe anything.
Keeping Indians out is as futile as trying to bail out the Pacific Ocean with a leaking thimble.

Mensarefugee said at May 1, 2008 9:23 PM:

You kidding?
Many of the Indians I talk to these days have a very bright view of India. Compared to even 7-10 years ago when it was all West Worship.

I dont expect India to ever completely catch up to the USA nor do I think India will be better than China. IQ and all that of course, but also the politics and socialist bent in politics there makes Obama/Hillary/McCain look like a tempest in a teapot (sigh, why dont the media like Ron Paul?)

But from the point of view of a IIT graduate - its easy to tell why they prefer India - China wont let them in and makes no secret of its racial insularity.

Bob Badour said at May 2, 2008 1:35 PM:

Ironically, high salaries in India actually increases the allure of the tech work in the west for me. Let's hope they get a lot higher over there.


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