Modernization for emigration: Determinants & consequences of the brain drain

Alejandro Portes, Adrienne Celaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This essay reviews existing theories of professional emigration as background to examine the present situation. Classical theories of the brain drain neglected the possibility that immigrant professionals would return to their home countries and make significant investments and economic contributions there. They do, in fact, with beneficial consequences for the development of these countries. The advent of the transnational perspective in the field of immigration has helped clarify these dynamics, while identifying the conditions under which professional cyclical returns and knowledge transfers can take place. Implications for the future attraction of foreign professionals by the United States and other advanced countries are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-184
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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