Global Talent Flows

36 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2016 Last revised: 30 Apr 2018

See all articles by Sari Pekkala Kerr

Sari Pekkala Kerr

Wellesley College

William Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

Caglar Ozden

World Bank - Research Department

Christopher Robert Parsons

The University of Western Australia - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 5, 2016


The global distribution of talent is highly skewed and the resources available to countries to develop and utilize their best and brightest vary substantially. The migration of skilled workers across countries tilts the deck even further. Using newly available data, the paper first reviews the landscape of global talent mobility, which is both asymmetric and rising in importance. Next, the determinants of global talent flows at the individual and firm levels are presented and some important implications are sketched. Third, the national gatekeepers for skilled migration and broad differences in approaches used to select migrants for admission are reviewed. Looking forward, the capacity of people, firms, and countries to successfully navigate this tangled web of global talent will be critical to their success.

Keywords: Human Migrations & Resettlements, International Migration, Skills Development and Labor Force Training, Labor Markets, Rural Labor Markets, Educational Sciences, Migration and Development

Suggested Citation

Kerr, Sari Pekkala and Kerr, William R. and Özden, Çaglar and Parsons, Christopher Robert, Global Talent Flows (October 5, 2016). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7852, Available at SSRN:

William R. Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Çaglar Özden

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States


Christopher Robert Parsons

The University of Western Australia - Department of Economics ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009

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