Intellectual migration and brain circulation: Conceptual framework and empirical evidence

Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Wan Yu, Hao Wang, Wei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A growing body of academic research and policy initiatives has addressed the global race for talent against the backdrop of the unprecedented scope and pace of skilled international migration. In this article, we coin the term "intellectual migration" as an analytical framework for international migration to explore how the experiences of students and skilled migrants to the United States from Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRIC countries) complicate notions of brain circulation. This framework not only brings together students and skilled migrants but also takes into account the complex relationship between these migrants' career aspirations and their connections to their (extended) families, their racialization in the United States, and economic and geopolitical changes in their home countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Chinese Overseas
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 8 2015


  • brain circulation
  • bric
  • immigration to the United States
  • intellectual migration
  • racialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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