Highly Skilled Migration as a Source and a Challenge for Competitiveness of State

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-8-67-77

N. Bol'shova (varioukhina@gmail.com),
MGIMO University, 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation 

Acknowledgements. The article has been supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation. Project no. 16-18-10411.

Abstract. The paper reviews the growing impact of highly skilled migration policies on the competitiveness of states. Highly skilled migrants (HSM) are regarded as valuable contributors to the knowledge economy, that the receiving countries are competing with each other for. The increase in HSM number (arriving with an H1B visa) had a positive effect on innovative development at macro and micro levels in the United States. A significant role in creation of innovations is played by foreign students, in particular those studying on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs). At the same time, an overall contribution of HSM to the innovation development of host countries is much greater than the number of patents, grants and highly cited publications, given indirect effects of immigration which play an equally important role in creating innovations: “the effects of knowledge spillover” from immigrants to colleagues. The author gives an overview of a range of foreign studies which demonstrate a strong positive impact of HSM on creating of innovations, and analyses some successful national approaches to HSM selection (cases of the USA, Australia and Canada). In recent years, Russian government has introduced a set of initiatives in migration politics, aiming at HSM. However, there is still a lack of sufficient public discussion on benefits HSM can bring to the Russian economy. Besides, low attractiveness of Russia for HSM challenges its capacity to compete with the leaders in a “global race for talents”, and therefore, to manage highly skilled migration policy as a source for innovation development. Universities, research institutes and high-technology firms serve as the main centers of innovation creation and attraction for HSM. Therefore, high-skilled migration policy should focus on the involvement of these recruiters through strengthening the internationalization and competitiveness of Russian universities, R&D and business sector. Moreover, the policy will have a highly positive effect if HSM represent different cultures. This implies the necessity to elaborate and introduce effective multicultural practices in education, research and business activities. 

Keywords: high-skilled migrants, migration policy, competitiveness of state, innovations, knowledge-driven economy, globalization, university, multiculturalism, Russia, the USA 


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For citation:
Bolshova N. Highly Skilled Migration as a Source and a Challenge for Competitiveness of State. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 8, pp. 67-77. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-8-67-77

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