Sojourns and Software: Internationally Mobile Human Capital and High-Tech Industry Development in India, Ireland, and Israel
This chapter analyzes the role of international flows of human capital in the growth of the software industry in the 3Is. Although skilled emigration is usually seen in such threatening ‘brain drain’ terms, its effects are multi-faceted and poorly understood. Overall, the evidence strongly suggests that the benefits of skilled migration have outweighed the costs for the three countries. The Indian experience in Silicon Valley, for example, shows how the diaspora can be a valuable national asset in facilitating international commerce, especially where the business is transactionally complex and reputation concerns are paramount. The highly skilled Indian emigration has played a key part in the development of an internationally competitive Indian software sector. The Irish experience shows how one decade's lost human capital can, under the right conditions, become a skill reservoir that can be tapped to ease resource constraints and sustain economic expansion as domestic labor markets tighten.
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