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Reverse brain drain: Economic shifts lure migrants home

The tide of brain drain – from developing countries to industrialized nations – has turned. Human capital is returning home to Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa, while some European professionals squeezed by the recession, turn toward developing countries for advancement.

Human capital is returning home to Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
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"Brain drain" – the flow of intellect and skilled labor from poor to rich countries – has been so constant in modern times that the Nigerian cabdriver who was educated as a doctor back home is just as much a fixture of New York City's landscape as a fledgling Broadway actress or Wall Street banker.

Academics and college-educated engineers from Brazil to China to Poland have long set off for the world's more developed nations for better opportunities, sometimes in their own fields, often behind steering wheels or in fast-food or restaurant kitchens.

Indeed, over time about 75 percent of international migrants typically moved to a country with a higher level of human development than their country of origin, according to the United Nations Development Fund.

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