Inderscience Publishers

Fight or flight: using causal loop diagram to investigate brain drain in developing countries

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Brain drain is defined as the movements of highly skilled labour forces, the human capital, from a country to another due to different reasons. There are varied factors affecting elites' decision to stay and fight with the problems in their own country or fly to another country to have a prosperous future. The phenomenon is such a multifaceted issue that should be studied in an interdisciplinary manner. In this paper, systemic approach is used to achieve an inclusive comprehension of how economic, scientific, political, and social conditions drive elites to stay or leave their country. For the purpose of this research, the related literature is reviewed and the data of some developing country is analysed. Based on the push-pull theory, the causal loop diagram is used to capture the main influencing factors and their interactions which play a key role in the phenomenon. The proposed conceptual model, which represents the main feedback loops in the system, provides decision makers with a useful understanding of how elites decide to immigrate and how their decisions can cause changes in the system.

Keywords: brain drain, social systems, causal loop diagram, developing countries, human capital, skilled labour, elites, push-pull theory, immigration, emigration

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