Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Management Studies

Impacts of Social Justice Perception on Elite Migration

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Management Studies

Impacts of Social Justice Perception on Elite Migration

Article excerpt


The term brain drain first appeared in a report by the Royal Society of London published in 1963. In its original sense, the term referred to the exodus of British scientists to the United States (report to London royal community, 1963). Before the World War II, immigrating of highly skilled immigrants was very rare and often insignificant. Brian drain ,as an international problem, originated in the post-war period, when United States became the undisputable leader of western science and a magnet for top level European scientist and technicians (Brana, 2006).

Today the concept is used to express expert's migration to any country; however the final destination is still United States; i.e. an expert may leave his/her country of A to country B which B is more developed, and from B to country C which is even more developed and richer, but finally he/she aims to reach to USA. Thus, brain drain could be considered in a hierarchy.

During the sixties and seventies movements of highly skilled people from developing countries to developed world came to the fore. Therefore the countries with already small population of qualified citizens, started to lose the best ones. On that account the issue was brought up before United Nations. Subsequently, interest in the causes and off-shoots of the brain drain resulted in debates and resolutions (Hansen, 2004: 2). In the seventies, the developing countries took some actions to discourage the outflow and encourage the return of skilled workers. One of the ideas was levying an international tax on skilled workers who left their country of origin. The wealthy countries reacted to this claim immediately emphasizing on the strength of the Article 13 in the Declaration of Human Rights, which stresses the right of the people to live where they choose.

Despite the lack of precise statistical information in this area, this paper is trying to draw more attention to brain drain in Iran. According to the International Monetary Fund report in 2007, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the highest rate of "brain drain" among 61 "developing" and "less developed" countries it measured. More than 150,000 Iranians leave the Islamic Republic every year. The flight of human capital costs the government over $38 billion annually, two times the revenues received from selling oil. Under the provisions of a five-year development plan, the country is trying to create jobs for its unemployed population, though the results of these efforts have not yet materialized. Consequently, the country remains unable to benefit from its educated diasporas or its pool of unemployed experts at home. In spite of this situation and Iran's technological and industrial sanction due to political conditions in the past 25 years, Iran continues to maintain high levels of education and research in few major universities, although mostly at undergraduate level. Iranian students continue to win technical tournaments in Robotics, Computer Science, and other fields of engineering and science every year, and Iranians continue to increase the number of their publications in technical journals despite their highly limited facilities and resources.

The whole situation concerning brain drain changed in 1978, when a paper was published by the United Nations Institute for training and research. This study demonstrated that many of those who had left their countries of origin, especially the most brilliant ones, returned home later. Thus, there was an illusion that brain drain was no longer a problem. However, the number of highly skilled migrants continued to rise (Brana, 2006). Events during the 1990s reintroduced the brain drain issue to policymakers and academics. The reason was simple: ongoing increase in skilled immigrations. The series of economical and political changes had great influence on migratory flow of the highly skilled; however the immigration policy in the receiving countries was the chief reason for the increased brain drain. …

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