"Inequality at birth is neither just nor unjust. What's just and unjust is the way institutions deal with it" - John Rawls
"I always had a certain dislike for general principles and abstract prescriptions. I think it's necessary to have an "empirical lantern" or a "visit with the patient" before being able to understand what is wrong with him. It is crucial to understand the peculiarity, the specificity, and also the unusual aspects of the case" - Albert O. Hirschman
Does brain drain matter in the era of internet revolution?
Brain drain refers to high-skilled people physically moving from a country to another. It is argued that such movement creates skill gaps in the origin country, disadvantaging them (though there is evidence to the contrary that brain drain actually helps both origin and receiver countries).
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that brain drain disadvantages origin country. The argument is that people who move away physically from origin country work for companies of the receiving company, developing technologies for the receiving country. This talent could instead have been used to develop technologies for the origin country.
This argument doesn’t seem to hold in this era of the internet because even if high skilled people stay back in the origin country, they most often work for MNCs OR outsourcing companies, which essentially are dealing with problems of receiving country.
In other words, the internet revolution has replaced the need to move physically to be part of receiver country economy. One can do that by sitting in the origin country. This has created an illusion that those who stay back in the origin country are working for the needs of origin country, which might not be the case always.
We should also note that the above phenomenon is applicable mostly to software engineers. But, they do constitute the majority. So, this effect is still significant.
In this context, I am sceptical about the celebration of reverse brain drain.