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Advantages of Skilled Worker Migration

Doctors Without Borders

“Doctors Without Borders”, written by Charles Kenny, discusses the advantages of allowing skilled workers to migrate from a “poor” state into a “rich” state and vice versa. Kenny also states that when medical doctors are allowed to migrate and work in other states it can cause all of the states involved to benifit. His main point in this article is that allowing skilled workers to migrate would boost the global economy and lower poverty rate in lower class states where the individual migrant workers migrated from. Kenny uses key facts regarding migrant workers total income to strengthen his argument. He states that between 1985 and 2005, the amount of foreign high income citizens in a state has jumped to nearly 10 percent. Kenny says “That’s great news for the rich states that benefit from their skills, of course. But as it turns out, it is also great news for the poor countries the migrants leave behind”. Kenny states that every immigrant on average sends approximately six thousand dollars in remittance per year to their home country. Also when migrant workers immigrate, they increase the trade between the two states by ten percent (Kenny 2). With this remittance, migrant workers can cut down poverty by nearly one third percent in low class countries (Kenny 2). Another fact that Kenny uses to prove his point is the booming IT industry in India. Kenny says that because so much information about technology was transmitted back to India in the 1990’s it has caused over 2.5 million people to be hired for IT work. The final point that Charles Kenny uses in his article is that the United States is moving in the opposite direction regarding this topic. Kenny’s opinion toward the United States and its idea about this article is this, “It is hard to find a more confused discussion than that surrounding ‘brain drain’. Opposition to unskilled migration is usually based on perceived self-interest, the threat of stolen jobs — a misguided fear, but at least a rational one.” Kenny says

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And at the other end of the degree process, there is growing concern about a “reverse brain drain,” as more foreign graduates from U.S. schools decide to return home rather than find jobs in America — again, often on account of byzantine immigration rules. Meanwhile, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee has proposed deep cuts to State Department international exchange program budgets that support the Fulbright program, among others. This shortsightedness regarding a program that promotes the talent trade in both directions isn’t just bad news for the development prospects in Africa or Asia; it’s likely to convert into a further erosion of America’s long-term productivity.

The idea of doctors without borders has also affected the international system and its main actors tremendously. It has caused an increasing number of politicians to being favoring immigration and bringing attention to the gains an individual state in the international system can create for itself on the individual scale within the state. For individual states in the international system, this topic draws much interest. Nearly every state in today’s global economy would like to strengthen themselves economically. With the increase of knowledgeable, skilled, migrant workers, individual states citizens will have more inspiration to acquire higher paying jobs. Kenny says that this is possible due to the amount of remittance sent back to a migrant’s home state. “If the amount of remittance sent to a migrant’s home state was doubled, it would lower the poverty rate and begin to balance the national economy. The amount of money sent back to home countries would triple the amount of foreign aid sent in the past year. This topic also effects individual global state on a more national level. As a growing number of educated immigrant workers enter into a country, non-governmental organizations will be strengthened. Fields of study like healthcare and technology would be improved drastically. For example intergovernmental organizations regarding workers of a skilled background can be strengthened by the increase of skilled migrant workers. In the global scale, the admittance of migrant workers into states needing skilled labor can benefit not just the country with the migrant worker, but the whole global community. On a lower scale, organizations located inside a state can be boosted also. With the increase of skilled migrants, organizations like IDCI’s, NDGO, SCOS, and many other non-governmental organizations can benefit by the increase of foreign workers.

This issue has also effected millions of people around the world. As an increasing number of foreign skilled workers are successfully migrating and making money, more and more people will being to desire to become educated. An example of this can be seen in the Philippines. Surveying the brightest students in Tonga and Papua New Guinea, Gibson and McKenzie find that nearly all of them contemplated migration, and it led them to take on additional classes (Kenny 3). Because the citizens observed many people migrating and becoming successful, they began to desire education in order to increase their chances of success.

As an individual in the international system, I can affect many individuals perception of this idea. I can be sure to make an effort to improve the knowledge about migrant workers and be able to intelligently respond to questions regarding this topic. Also this topic can affect myself as an individual in the near future. If individual states begin to disallow migration, an increasing number of people will lose jobs, the poverty rate in low income countries will begin to rise once again, and trade between countries disallowing migration will slowly recede.

If this concept is left unchecked, many opportunities will be lost, migrants will work for lower wages, and poverty levels will stay the same. On the individual level, citizens will have less of a will to work due to the loss of motivation from lower wages. If workers in a state have no will to work, it will cause the total number of skilled workers to decrease within the state which in-turn causes the work efficiency to drop. Also, if individuals do not have the opportunity to migrate and work to make them more successful, individuals will begin to become lazy which can lower the economy over time and increase poverty. Another problem if left unchecked can be education in lower income countries. If there is no will to migrate to earn higher paying jobs, education in the individual state would lower due to the fact that there is no desire to learn. If this topic goes unchecked it will also affect many of the intergovernmental organizations in the world today. Organizations that are associated with a labor force will be effected. If left unchecked the loss of thousands of skilled migrant workers will cause a need to acquire workers that may not be suited for the job they are given.

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Doctors Without Borders is one of the newest IGO around in the world today. The concept of allowing skilled workers to migrate into poor countries could benefit the global economy as a whole. As many people argue that the increase of migrant workers in countries can capture jobs from other born in citizens is true, it does not cause the job loss that is exaggerated in the argument. The implementation of this idea is possible and as an individual I will be spreading the word about this idea.


Kenny, Charles. “Doctors Without Borders.” Foreign Policy. (2011): 1-4. Web. 25 Apr. 2012.



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