Is emigration bad for a country?
Should rich countries offer jobs to professionals such as doctors, engineers and teachers from poorer countries, even though these people are needed in their own countries?
Every year millions of workers migrate to developed countries such as Canada or Germany to work as doctors, engineers, or other professionals. This is good for the rich countries, but can be bad for the developing countries. This essay will explain why it is difficult to limit this flow of talented people from poor to rich countries.
Allowing foreign professionals to work overseas can cause many problems back home. First, the rich country is essentially taking the money that the developing country spent educating these workers. They are getting highly trained employees at a minimal cost without the need to build expensive universities. Why should Canada or Ireland benefit from South Africa’s or India’s education system? Another point is that many of these workers never go home. The skills they pick up abroad are not available for their home country. A third point is that many education systems are producing people for export, rather than providing skills needed in the home country.
However, we cannot simply stop employing workers from overseas. First, most professionals are free to work where they want, and if Australia won’t take them, the UAE or Saudi will. Competition exists, and people are free to choose their careers. Secondly, the remittances from these workers help to educate children. These children will, we hope, be able to work in their economy without the need to emigrate. In addition, allowing emigration can prevent social unrest. Unemployment can cause political or social problems, so it can be better for workers to emigrate, earn good salaries, and learn new skills elsewhere.
Finally, while many people would prefer to stay and work in their own country, it is inevitable that many others are attracted to higher salaries or better opportunities overseas. Developing countries need to examine why so many of their brightest, most talented people are leaving, and richer countries need quotas in place to ensure that they do not distort other education systems and economies.