Brain Drain or Human Capital Flight

The Brain drain literature has recently been revived. Several new papers have been written while several international organi s ations and univers ities are initiating long term research projects. Developing country economists and activists have long voiced their concerns for the short supply of domestic skills in their countries. 1 Unfortunately, the new literature seems somewhat removed from this ex pression of concern from the affected people. Rather than examine the detail of the skill shortage and what it implies , the new research is trying to reprove for human capital what we already know for both Author’s Note: The author would like to thank Surjit Bhalla, Ahmed Galal, Mohsin Khan, Rodney Ramcharan, Paul Streeten, and participants at seminars at the Pakistan Institute o f Development Economics and the University of Cairo for comments and suggestions ; also Natalie Baumer for editorial assistance. All errors and omission, of course, remain the sole responsibility of the author.