A new GLO Discussion Paper discusses reverse brain drain of white-collar migrant workers returning to live in their countries of origin while continuing to work for employers in their countries of destination as a consequence of working-from home experiences during the Covid-19 period.
The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 845, 2021
COVID-19, Working from Home and the Potential Reverse Brain Drain – Download PDF
by Bakalova, Irina & Berlinschi, Ruxanda & Fidrmuc, Jan & Dzyuba, Yuri
GLO Fellows Ruxanda Berlinschi and Jan Fidrmuc
Author Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial increase in the prevalence of working from home among white-collar occupations. This can have important implications for the future of the workplace and quality of life. We discuss an additional implication, which we label reverse brain drain: the possibility that white-collar migrant workers return to live in their countries of origin while continuing to work for employers in their countries of destination. We estimate the potential size of this reverse flow using data from the European Labor Force Survey. Our estimates suggest that the UK, France, Switzerland and Germany each have around half a million skilled migrants who could perform their jobs from their home countries. Most of them originate from the other EU member states: both old and new. We discuss the potential economic, social and political implications of such reverse brain drain.
More from the GLO Coronavirus Cluster
GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers). Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.