Some Specifics on the Brain Drain from the Andean Region

Date01 October 1983
AuthorDAVID L. MCKEE
Published date01 October 1983
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.1983.tb00981.x
Some Spec$cs
on
the Brain Drain
from the Andean Region
BY
DAVID
L.
MCKEE
The Andean Agreement of Subregional Integration was signed in Bogota, Columbia on
May
26,
1969, uniting Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Equador and Peru in the search for
solutions to common economic problems (1). It was ‘an ambitious formula based on the
harmonizing of economic, labor and social policies and on joint programming’
(2).
‘Ven-
ezuela failed to ratify the
...
Agreement in 1969 but formally joined the Andean Group on
February 13, 1973’
(3).
Since that time the successes of the organization have been mixed.
One of the major problems has always been a lack ofgeographical cohesiveness. Distance
and terrain have made a solid economic union difficult, as evidenced by the withdrawal of
Chile in 1976.
In spite of her withdrawal, Chile ‘remains bound by decisions
on
double taxation,
Andean multinational companies, heavy road transport and the Andean trunk-road sys-
tem’
(4).
Despite difficulties,
a
commonality
of
language and culture has kept the organ-
ization afloat. Unfortunately there is little evidenced to suggest that the period ofits tenure
has signaled any sustained economic progress attributable to it. The degree of cooperation
between the countries varies depending upon the issue at hand. One area where little
seems to have been accomplished is the matter ofthe provision and utilization oftechnical
manpower. The agreement does little in this direction.
There are many problems in the manpower area which should be addressed in the
course of any serious attempt at economic development and/or integration. Some revolve
around the training of the work force. Others relate to the utilization of skilled labor. The
problem which will be discussed in the present investigation overlaps these issues. It
concerns the brain drain as it pertains to the nations
of
the Andean area. Like most
of
the
Third World the area under consideration suffers from the
loss
of professionals to more
advanced nations, especially the United States.
A thorough understanding of the situation would necessitate the gathering of primary
information from the members of various occupational groups who have migrated. Cer-
tainly such a task is beyond the scope of the present investigation. Instead the study will be
limited to a particular subset of the professional labor force, health care professionals and
physical scientists.
The findings presented in this study were derived from a survey of such persons who were
born in the countries under consideration and are currently residents of the United
States.The survey population consisted of individuals listed in the current edition of
.4merican
Men
and
Women
of
Science.
No sampling techniques were employed. The
survey was mailed
to
all persons fulfilling the regional characteristics. Eighty-one res-
ponses were received from a total of
165
surveyed. Thirteen mailings were returned
488

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