Brain Drain from Lithuania: the Attitude of Civil Servants


  • Juozas Bagdanavičius Vilniaus pedagoginis universitetas
  • Zita Jodkonienė Vilniaus pedagoginis universitetas


The concept of brain drain includes not only a physical emigration of highly qualified persons from one country to another but also a transfer from one department of an organization to another, as well as any other loss of skills and knowledge of one economic unit necessary for economic growth and development in favour of another economic unit. Brian drain occurs as a result of the factors of attraction and repulsion of migration of qualified specialists, scientists and students. Three levels of the reason for brain can be distinguished: individual, organization, and state. Brain drain occurs in all countries of the world with a varying extent and character. In the economically developed countries more attention is given to the problem of brain drain. It has become an object of interest and research in these countries much earlier than in the economies of transition. This can be proven by a more extensive and accurate statistics provided in different sources, as well as the abundance of different research. In Lithuania little analysis has been made on this phenomenon. It is difficult to determine the extent of brain drain from Lithuania due to the lack of statistical data and sociological research. The article underlines that the emigration of highly educated specialists from Lithuania may have negative economic, social, cultural and even political effects on the development of the country. Several social groups of Lithuania sensitive to the phenomenon of emigration have been listed in this article. It analyses the migration trends of business world, academic youth, scientists, as well as other highly qualified specialists and civil servants. It is stated in the article that the emigration of specialists from Lithuania is not massive, since the demand of qualified labour abroad is smaller than that of unqualified; however, high qualification and professional competence of workers from both public and private sector becomes a precondition of brain drain from Lithuania to other countries. The article provides the results of the research on the attitudes to migration by civil servants. The majority of the respondents who leave Lithuania are interested not only in the financial benefit; they associate their work abroad with the possibility to satisfy personal needs, first of all selfactualization, career, and professional development. The article maintains that high competence of specialists and knowledge acquired in Lithuania can be easily transferred abroad and this is what encourages the respondents to emigrate. Highly qualified specialists often find a job in their speciality and are satisfied with the evaluation of their work abroad. The analysis of the literature and the study into the migration of civil servants has given theoretical and empirical grounds to the above statement.

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