Brain gain refers to the hypothesis that the emigration of advanced students and highly skilled workers may produce domestic incentives for investment in education and skills that offset the human capital losses resulting from the departures.
Due to the huge disparities in standards of living around the globe and the tremendous impact, for good or ill, of international economic transactions in the development process, the ideas and policies that shape economic development are subject to ongoing and highly charged debates. In entries on influential development institutions, such as the World Bank, and policy frameworks, such as import substitution industrialization and theWashington consensus, our goal is to explain these debateswithout attempting to resolve them. Entries on economic development and the evolution of development thinking are designed to provide the reader with a conceptual framework and a context for understanding the issues addressed in entries such as international migration, international trade and economic development, and technological progress in open economies. Since the 1990s, development thinking has shifted toward recognizing the central importance of political processes in structuring and potentially limiting economic development. Reflecting this shift, the Encyclopedia attempts to view the economic processes of development in the broader context of political decision-making. This emphasis on political economy is apparent in many of the entries on economic policy and takes center stage in entries that address the linkages between economic and political systems, such as those on democracy and development, corruption, and international aid and political economy. Finally, while most of the development entries take the national economy as their starting point, entries on global poverty, global income inequality, and international income convergence take a deliberately transnational approach, reflecting the growing consensus that it is nowmeaningful to view some issues from the perspective of a single global economy.