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  1. #1

    Losing Our Minds: Brain Drain across the United States

    Interesting study by United States Congress Joint Economic Committee which is chaired by Mike Lee (Utah Senator).

    https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/in...5-48644F31E624

    The study looked at the movement of US highly-educated citizens.

    We define a highly-educated “leaver” as someone in the top third of the national education distribution who resides in a state other than her birth state between the ages of 31 and 40. We then analyze brain drain using two measures: “gross” brain drain and “net” brain drain. Gross brain drain is defined as the share of leavers who are highly educated minus the share of adults who remain in their birth state (“stayers”) who are highly educated. Net brain drain is the share of leavers who are highly educated minus the share of entrants to a state who are highly educated.


    Translation: gross brain drain measures how well states retain their highly-educated residence while net brain drain measures how well states attract other states highly-educated residence. The study also looked at absolute (in comparison to the nation overall education level) and relative (in comparison to each state education level) terms.

    The study strictly looked at movement between states and exclude foreign immigrants.

    We pool men and women in our analyses. We ignore immigrants to the United States, whose place of birth, by definition, was outside one of the 50 states. A vast literature explores brain drain from developing countries to developed ones, a topic beyond the scope of our paper.
    Here is a chart of gross brain drain vs. outmigration rate. The lower the number the better the states at retaining their educated residence. Wyoming does not make sense with its high outward migration rate and high retention of educated residence. However the study did not address the outlier.




    Here is a chart of net brain drain vs. outmigration rate. Negative number meant that the state attracts more educated residence than the leavers. Apparently, although Wyoming is good at retaining their educated residence, the state is not so good at attracting other states educated residence.




    Here is the conclusion of the study which states the problem clearly but offers no solution. The interactive map at the top of the page which allows you to see the rate of brain drain from 1940 through 2017 is quite revealing. It shows that starting from 1970, the rate of brain drain accelerates. For comparison, California net brain gain increased at a rate of 7% to 8% each decade, while North Dakota went from a net brain gain state in 1970 to a net brain drain state of 19.87% in 2017.

    States which retain and attract highly-educated adults stand to reap substantial economic benefits. At the same time, those that bleed much of their homegrown talent will see their economic fortunes decline if they fail to replace the leavers with highly-educated out-of-staters. Yet even if they do manage to offset their losses, these states are still losing a vital source of social capital.

    What is more, the outmigration of highly-educated adults has almost certainly played a role in the deterioration of civil society in struggling communities across the country. And to the extent that the geographic mobility of the highly-educated has increased social bifurcation, it has likely exacerbated distrust of and intolerance toward people who hold different beliefs. One need only glance at today’s polarized political environment to see these attitudes on display.

    Our research finds that states that are doing the best—low gross brain drain and net brain gain—generally cluster along the Boston-Washington corridor and on the West Coast: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Oregon, and Washington. Other brain gain states are regional hubs—Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and Illinois. Several of these states experienced high gross brain drain and net brain drain in 1970, but have reversed course; others have seen continued good prospects or improvements on one or both measures. For the most part, these states are home to what Richard Florida would describe as “winner-take-all cities.”

    On the other hand, states in the Southeast, in the Rust Belt, and in other parts of the country tend to fare much worse when it comes to retaining and attracting the highly-educated. Several states in the Southeast—West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana—had low gross brain drain and net brain gain in 1970, but today generally experience high gross brain drain as well as net brain drain. Most Rust Belt states—Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri—have done poorly on these measures in both 1970 and 2017. Perhaps unsurprisingly, states that defy these regional trends (for example, Illinois in the Rust Belt, and Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia in the Southeast) seem to be attracting highly-educated out-of-staters to their dynamic metropolitan hubs.

    Brain drain has significant consequences—economic, yes, but also political and cultural. By increasing social segregation, it limits opportunities for disparate groups to connect. And by siphoning a source of economic innovation from emptying communities, brain drain can also lead to crumbling institutions of civil society. As those natives who have more resources leave, those left behind may struggle to support churches, police athletic leagues, parent-teacher associations, and local businesses. State and local policymakers are understandably focused on the economic consequences of brain drain. But anyone concerned about the health of associational life in America should worry that what this report has mapped out, to some extent, is the geography of social capital drain.
    Last edited by Rasulis; 2019-05-07 at 06:07 AM.

  2. #2
    The Insane PC2's Avatar
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    I don't think the concentration of education is that big of a deal. Innovation in one place will eventually spread everywhere. Increases in income also get re-distributed through the federal government since fed programs typically have universal eligibility.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by PrimaryColor View Post
    I don't think the concentration of education is that big of a deal. Innovation in one place will eventually spread everywhere. Increases in income also get re-distributed through the federal government since fed programs typically have universal eligibility.
    That’s an interesting perspective. I am quite certain that the brain drain states would disagree with that. As for “innovation would eventually spread everywhere”, the trend in the last 50 years does not support that. West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana had low gross brain drain and net brain gain in 1970, but today experience high gross brain drain as well as net brain drain - these are the poorest states in the union. I am not too sure what you meant by government programs - are you referring to welfare programs?

    States with high net brain drain have a hard time attracting companies to set up shops. The same with funding. The three states with the highest net brain gain (NY, MA & CA) accounts for almost 90% of the venture capital funding in 2018 (up from 70% in the previous year). The same three states account for two-third of new start ups in 2018. Four states (CA, NY, MA and TX) accounts for more than half of the patents approved by the United States Patent Office in 2018.

  4. #4
    First world problems.
    And here I thought you were going to talk about the US sucking away educated people from poor countries, preventing them from catching up.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Veknazel View Post
    First world problems.
    And here I thought you were going to talk about the US sucking away educated people from poor countries, preventing them from catching up.
    Another issue completely. The report specifically exclude that and only looked at migration pattern between states.

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    Merely a Setback Connal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasulis View Post
    That’s an interesting perspective. I am quite certain that the brain drain states would disagree with that. As for “innovation would eventually spread everywhere”, the trend in the last 50 years does not support that. West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana had low gross brain drain and net brain gain in 1970, but today experience high gross brain drain as well as net brain drain - these are the poorest states in the union. I am not too sure what you meant by government programs - are you referring to welfare programs?

    States with high net brain drain have a hard time attracting companies to set up shops. The same with funding. The three states with the highest net brain gain (NY, MA & CA) accounts for almost 90% of the venture capital funding in 2018 (up from 70% in the previous year). The same three states account for two-third of new start ups in 2018. Four states (CA, NY, MA and TX) accounts for more than half of the patents approved by the United States Patent Office in 2018.
    I do not see a lot of solutions for this issue. Add on top of this telecommuting and gentrification, and you get a toxic mix for the culture itself.
    Vocatus atque non vocatus, deus aderit.

  7. #7
    Chinese Americans leaving for China.
    .

    "This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can."

    -- Capt. Copeland

  8. #8
    Well that's what you get if you have no borders and do have freedom of movement between the states. People will vote with their feet and move to the greener pastures, wherever that is at any given time.

    I do however believe that this will eventually balance itself out. Because eventually there are too many cows grazing on the field. And the living costs become too much.
    Last edited by enigma77; 2019-05-07 at 07:07 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by enigma77 View Post
    Well that's what you get if you have no borders and do have freedom of movement between the states. People will vote with their feet and move to the greener pastures, wherever that is at any given time.

    I do however believe that this will eventually balance itself out. Because eventually there are too many cows grazing on the field. And the living costs become too much.
    Unlikely. The problem is that while living costs are intensive, larger cities also have vastly more effective support structures.

    Urbanisation is simply the most effective way to ensure distribution of services to a lot of people, and that's bearing out in how the rural population is declining significantly worldwide.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by enigma77 View Post
    Well that's what you get if you have no borders and do have freedom of movement between the states. People will vote with their feet and move to the greener pastures, wherever that is at any given time.

    I do however believe that this will eventually balance itself out. Because eventually there are too many cows grazing on the field. And the living costs become too much.
    This is kind of tongue-in-cheek, but high housing prices and overcrowding, depending on how you look at them, may work to the advantage of places like San Francisco/Silicon Valley.
    If houses are cheap, it means that young people can buy housing sooner and have kids. When they have kids, they can’t take as much risk and don’t have as much energy to start companies. Also, if houses are cheap, it’s easier to “make it big,” and you want it to be hard to make it big. The pressure of these conditions make people jealous of each other; this in turn makes them compete. Cities also bring people together to work. People can’t telecommute to a startup. People need to get together to bounce ideas off one another, argue, and cajole. Also, over-crowding gives people something to shoot for: that is, achieving success so they can get out of there.


    Guy Kawasaki (How to Kick Silicon Valley's Butt)

  11. #11
    States can offer tax(or other) incentives to companies to move there. The minds will follow the jobs
    and the geek shall inherit the earth

  12. #12
    Merely a Setback Sunseeker's Avatar
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    Mostly because these states provide poor incentives for people not educated in agri-business or oil-related stuff to stay, and many of them have strong anti-education cultures and politicians.
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    Immortal matheney2k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
    Chinese Americans leaving for China.
    ....what?? Read the damn article (or even OP) for once Hubcap. And stop changing your name.

    OT: As somebody that was born and raised in Kentucky (now have a masters degree and live in Cali), I can definitely attest to the culture of ignorance that plagues that state. Being dumb is to be cool and being smart or intelligent is to be made fun of and frowned upon by your peers. I can't count how many times I acted like I didn't know something or didn't care to learn when I was growing up just to avoid any possible teasing or bullying.

    As a side note I see the ''bible belt'' is among the worse offenders on these charts. I wonder what the correlation between the importance of religion to a specific area (state in this case) vs the brain drain net gains or losses.
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    Klling a new born is not much morally different than a late term abortion. Should be avoided, but it's not like it is an actual person yet.

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    Scarab Lord Logwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matheney2k View Post
    ....what?? Read the damn article (or even OP) for once Hubcap. And stop changing your name.

    OT: As somebody that was born and raised in Kentucky (now have a masters degree and live in Cali), I can definitely attest to the culture of ignorance that plagues that state. Being dumb is to be cool and being smart or intelligent is to be made fun of and frowned upon by your peers. I can't count how many times I acted like I didn't know something or didn't care to learn when I was growing up just to avoid any possible teasing or bullying.

    As a side note I see the ''bible belt'' is among the worse offenders on these charts. I wonder what the correlation between the importance of religion to a specific area (state in this case) vs the brain drain net gains or losses.
    I would speculate more a case of the industries in those states than religion. Those states are generally agricultural in nature which tends not to need a high education. Also, those states have a history of not caring about education throughout their histories. So if you are an IT brainiac why would you stay in Mississippi where there are no jobs>?

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    Immortal matheney2k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logwyn View Post
    I would speculate more a case of the industries in those states than religion. Those states are generally agricultural in nature which tends not to need a high education. Also, those states have a history of not caring about education throughout their histories. So if you are an IT brainiac why would you stay in Mississippi where there are no jobs>?
    No I understand this is an extremely complicated situation whereas lies in many factors and contributors that cross interact and further complicate things, it would be dumb af to try and pin the 'cause' to one single thing, but still I would be interested to see such findings to see if any correlation does exist between religious importance and education.

    Our teachers always had a saying they would just love to spout off growing up when referencing how Kentucky ranks among the states in education: "Thank God for Mississippi."
    Quote Originally Posted by Elba View Post
    Klling a new born is not much morally different than a late term abortion. Should be avoided, but it's not like it is an actual person yet.

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    The Unstoppable Force breadisfunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
    Chinese Americans leaving for China.
    hubcap we know it's you. your not fooling anyone. changing your name isn't going to change the fact that you seem to be completely illiterate as evidenced by your nonsense posts that have little to nothing to do with the threads you post in or are completely incorrect.
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    i will never forgive you for this blizzard.

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    Scarab Lord Logwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matheney2k View Post
    No I understand this is an extremely complicated situation whereas lies in many factors and contributors that cross interact and further complicate things, it would be dumb af to try and pin the 'cause' to one single thing, but still I would be interested to see such findings to see if any correlation does exist between religious importance and education.

    Our teachers always had a saying they would just love to spout off growing up when referencing how Kentucky ranks among the states in education: "Thank God for Mississippi."
    Maybe some. Utah I think is the top state for attending "church". I would say there was a big religion in the New England states though too?

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    The Insane PC2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasulis View Post
    That’s an interesting perspective. I am quite certain that the brain drain states would disagree with that. As for “innovation would eventually spread everywhere”, the trend in the last 50 years does not support that. West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana had low gross brain drain and net brain gain in 1970, but today experience high gross brain drain as well as net brain drain - these are the poorest states in the union. I am not too sure what you meant by government programs - are you referring to welfare programs?

    States with high net brain drain have a hard time attracting companies to set up shops. The same with funding. The three states with the highest net brain gain (NY, MA & CA) accounts for almost 90% of the venture capital funding in 2018 (up from 70% in the previous year). The same three states account for two-third of new start ups in 2018. Four states (CA, NY, MA and TX) accounts for more than half of the patents approved by the United States Patent Office in 2018.
    Innovation is about new stuff, which spreads everywhere regardless of where it was produced.

    I don't disagree with your points, but I don't see why this is a problem. Some states will have economies based around natural resources. Where as the biggest states and cities will have a knowledge-based economy. It doesn't matter if there is regional inequalities when the federal government exists to flatten that out.

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    Legendary! TEHPALLYTANK's Avatar
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    Wait, so the study basically says that educated people leave states that are filled with uneducated people? I'm willing to bet it is primarily an issue of jobs available in those states. I think it is probably fair to blame a lot of that on poor governance and legislation. The Rust Belt needs to stop electing morons, cause those morons they elect just proceed to economically cripple their state.
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    Scarab Lord dacoolist's Avatar
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    I love how everyone loves to focus on highly educated people as the end all - real nice lol - what about other qualities besides a single ridiculous focus on people who stay in school a long time.. this entire article means nothing.

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