Highly-skilled migration: Estonia's attraction policy and its congruence with the determinants of 'talent mobility'
Ortega Prudencio, Leonardo Daniel
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In recent years, the phenomenon of highly-skilled migration has increasingly attracted the attention of both academia and policy makers around the world. The potential of the highly-skilled to positively impact economic development in the receiving country has led to a ‘global race for talent’, with countries competing for attracting the ‘best and brightest’. To further develop its knowledge economy, Estonia appears not to want to be left out of this race, as it has recently take active steps to attract the highly-skilled. The aim of this thesis is to provide an insight and a better understanding at Estonia’s current immigration policies and measures in the specific context of attracting highly-skilled third-country nationals in light of the theoretical determinants of ‘talent mobility’ – a proxy for highly-skilled migration. A combination of secondary research, interview analysis with highly-skilled migration stakeholders and a short quantitative analysis on issued temporary residence permits in Estonia were the methodological backbone of the work. The resulting outcome from the empirical analysis shows that Estonia, despite having a very clear objective on the attraction of highly-skilled, does not have a comprehensive policy on this topic, but it has instead a set of independently-carried policies and scarcely coordinated measures in this area. The theoretical determinants of ‘talent mobility’, in line with neoclassical economics paradigm, seem to be only partially addressed by the Estonian immigration policies and measures for attracting highly-skilled third-country nationals. Beyond the results, the author also contributes to this topic by discussing some policy implications and issues recommendations that could help better address these determinants through immigration policies and measures