Brain Drain


DEFINITION of 'Brain Drain'

A slang term for a significant emigration of educated or talented individuals. A brain drain can result from turmoil within a nation, from there being better professional opportunities in other countries or from people seeking a better standard of living.


Brain drains cause countries to lose valuable professionals. The term is usually used to describe the departure of doctors, scientists, engineers or financial professionals. When these people leave, their country is harmed in two ways. First, expertise is lost with each emigrant, diminishing the supply of that profession. Second, the country's economy is harmed as each professional represents surplus spending units. Professionals often earn large salaries, so their departure removes significant consumer spending from the country.

  1. Economy

    Economy is the large set of inter-related economic production ...
  2. Surplus Spending Unit

    An economic unit with income that is greater than or equal to ...
  3. Nonresident Alien

    A non-U.S. citizen who doesn't pass the green card test or the ...
  4. Gross National Product - GNP

    Gross National Product (or GNP) is an economic statistic that ...
  5. Alien

    Any person who is not a citizen of the country in which he or ...
  6. Resident Alien

    A foreigner who is a permanent resident of the country in which ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Economics Basics

    Learn economics principles such as the relationship of supply and demand, elasticity, utility, and more!
  2. Personal Finance

    Demographic Trends And The Implications For Investment

    See how people's movements, ages, deaths and buying patterns affect portfolios worldwide.
  3. Options & Futures

    Explaining The World Through Macroeconomic Analysis

    From unemployment and inflation to government policy, learn what macroeconomics measures and how it affects everyone.
  4. Retirement

    Economic Indicators To Know

    The economy has a large impact on the market. Learn how to interpret the most important reports.
  5. Investing Basics

    Why Interest Rates Affect Everyone

    Learn why interest rates are one of the most important economic variables and how every individual and business is affected by rate changes.
  6. Economics

    Investing Opportunities as Central Banks Diverge

    After the Paris attacks investors are focusing on central bank policy and its potential for divergence: tightened by the Fed while the ECB pursues easing.
  7. Economics

    Understanding Donald Trump's Stance on China

    Find out why China bothers Donald Trump so much, and why the 2016 Republican presidential candidate argues for a return to protectionist trade policies.
  8. Investing

    World Bank Data For Dummies

    Developing countries can't always afford to track the data crucial to setting the right economic policies and programs. That's where the World Bank steps in.
  9. Economics

    Explaining Devaluation

    Devaluation is the deliberate decrease in one county’s currency relative to the currency of other countries.
  10. Investing

    Is US Inflation Too Low?

    One reason the Fed has delayed its first rate hike: U.S. inflation has been persistently running below the stated 2 % level the central bank seeks to target.
  1. How do you make working capital adjustments in transfer pricing?

    Transfer pricing refers to prices that a multinational company or group charges a second party operating in a different tax ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Marginal propensity to Consume (MPC) Vs. Save (MPS)

    Historically, because people in the United States have shown a higher propensity to consume, this is likely the more important ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. When has the United States run its largest trade deficits?

    In macroeconomics, balance of trade is one of the leading economic metrics that determines the trading relationship of a ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Which is more important to a nation's economy, the balance of trade or the balance ...

    There is no question the composition of a country's balance of payments is more important than its balance of trade. This ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the ethical arguments against government subsidies to companies like Tesla?

    The ethical argument behind government subsidies is that they should be put into place to help industries that will, in turn, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can tariffs cause inefficiencies in domestic industries?

    Any government regulation naturally creates inefficiencies in a pure supply and demand marketplace. When it comes to the ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  2. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  3. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  4. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  5. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  6. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
Trading Center