Sosring minds: The flight of Israel's econmists

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The brain drain issue used to revolve primarily around migration from developing to developed countries. In recent years, there is an accumulation of evidence that this is an issue that should interest developed countries as well. Recently published numbers by the European Commission and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development indicate a nonnegligible flow of European academics to American universities. This article provides the first case study conducted on the most massive out-migration of academics on record. At a time when Europe and other developed countries have begun to express concern about the phenomenon, the rate of academic emigration from Israel to the United States is already four to six times the European emigration rate. The particular focus here is on the area of economics, in which the exodus of younger academics from Israel coupled with a heightened retirement rate among the older academics has brought Israel's top economics departments - among the best in the world, until now - to the brink. Countries wanting to create conditions for fostering and nurturing the necessary productivity advances underlying economic growth must become aware of how far and how quickly an academic implosion can occur, if left unchecked. The findings brought forth here should help increase the level of this awareness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-379
Number of pages17
JournalContemporary Economic Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


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