The report, "The Grass is Indeed Greener in India and China for Returnee Entrepreneurs," is based on a survey of U.S.-educated Indian and Chinese professionals who had returned to their home countries and started businesses. These respondents cited economic opportunities, favorable conditions for starting a business and the speed of professional growth as the leading motivations for returning home. Family ties also played a significant role in attracting the entrepreneurs back to their native countries.
Over the past decade, poverty and underdevelopment – the "brain drain" factors that once drove the vast majority of U.S.-educated immigrants to remain here rather than returning home – have given way to startup-friendly business environments in India and China. Most returnees now say the entrepreneurial advantages are better in their home countries, where they can benefit from lower operating costs, heightened professional recognition, greater access to local markets and a better quality of life than they could attain in the United States.
However, the survey results also indicate that, while returnees' migration back to their home countries produces a "reverse brain drain" in the United States, these entrepreneurs maintain close relationships with U.S.-based colleagues, family, friends and sources of business information. These data suggest a two-way "brain circulation" with potential benefit to both the United States and these emerging economies.
The survey's key findings include:
Where Will the Jobs Come From?
Historically Large Decline in Job Creation from Startup and Existing Firms in the 2008-2009 Recession
This report is part of the series Immigration and the American Economy.