Saturday, March 22, 2008

Labour Mobility

One of the never-ending tasks at HRSDC was to try and quantify the economic impact of labour mobility. I still don't know what all intraprovincial barriers to trade "cost" the Canadian economy, but I have some new anecdotes.

The Fulbright Program is a purportedly prestigious scholarship program which offers (fairly large) scholarships to graduate students crossing borders. The major string attached is that after the completion of your graduate work, you are obliged to return to your home country for two years.

Well, what lots of people are starting to do (at least those seeking PhDs in economics), are to turn down the Fulbright, turn down the interview, or not even bother to apply. American schools want students who they can place at prestigious universities, and the Fulbright conditions generally prohibit that. Similarly, the students themselves don't want to be exiled back to their own (often small, less-developed) countries where they may not have the research and salary opportunities they could find elsewhere.

Solution: Turn down the fellowship program that has 37 Nobel Prize winners (10 of them in economics) as alumni.

NOTE: Yes, I do know the economics Nobel isn't a real Nobel.


Anonymous said...

Many Fulbright students are placed at prestigious universities.

Andrew said...

Yes, many are. Especially a lot of European nationals who have excellent universities to choose from back home.

But it`s much harder if you`re from a country that doesn`t have much of a scholarly tradition.