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Brain Drain from Turkey: Survey Evidence of Student Non-Return

Aysıt Tansel () and Nil Demet Güngör ()

No 307, Working Papers from Economic Research Forum

Abstract: The 'brain drain' phenomenon has been widely investigated since the mid-1960s both in academic circles and by policymakers. From the developing country perspective, the migration of skilled individuals is viewed as a threat to economic development, and as a costly subsidy from the poor nations to the rich. The focus of this paper is on the return intentions of Turkish students studying overseas. Turkey's first 'brain drain' wave began in the 1960s, with doctors and engineers among the first group of emigrants. Various factors have been cited as important for student non-return, including political instability, lower salaries and lack of employment opportunities in the home country when studies are completed, as well as a preference to live abroad. The current study presents the findings of a survey conducted by the authors during the first half of 2002, which investigates the return intentions of Turkish students studying abroad at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The aim of the paper is to analyse the new evidence on the return intentions of Turkish students studying abroad in the hope of providing some insights into possible factors that may be important in explaining Turkish student non-return.

Date: 2003, Revised 2003
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Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)

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