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|