1. bookVolume 15 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
26 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

Moving Across Borders: Brain or brain gain? A comparative in Czechia and Germany

Published Online: 03 Jul 2021
Page range: 30 - 42
Received: 27 Jun 2020
Accepted: 17 Feb 2021
Journal Details
First Published
26 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

The continuous drain of young university graduates leaving the country poses the threat of considerable loss, both economic and social. On the other hand, temporary labour migration can bring positive effects (experience, foreign know how). The objective of the article was to identify the attitude of German and Czech university undergraduates to labour migration and to explore the motivation factors that play a role in their decision-making. The research sample consisted of students of economics who study at regional universities in North Bohemia and neighbouring German Saxony. It was established that German students declare a greater interest in working abroad, but they tend to prefer temporary labour migration, while Czech students think more about permanently moving abroad, provided they are considering leaving for another country. Logistic forward stepwise regression was selected to establish significant explaining variables. Surprisingly, “higher salary” did not figure in the created models as an explaining variable in a single case. The amount of salary is an important motivation factor (both for Czech and German students), however, it is not the main factor which influences their decision to go abroad. The explaining variables “I want to live in a different country” and “the opportunity to gain international work experience” were shown in both cases. Governments as well as regional authorities should pay attention to the reasons why qualified workers decide on labour migration and they should pay due care to establishing why qualified workers want to live in a different country. Temporary labour migration should be encouraged and, at the same time, such conditions should be created to motivate highly qualified workers to return home.

Highlights for public administration, management and planning:

• The departure of young people with a university degree abroad represents considerable not only economic but also social losses.

• Temporary labour migration, however, can bring positive effects (experience, foreign know-how). German students declare interest in temporary labour migration, while Czech students prefer permanent migration.

• The salary is an important motivational factor (for both Czech and German students), but it is not the main factor that influences the decision to move abroad.

• Governments, as well as regional authorities, should pay attention to the reasons that lead qualified workers to decide for labour migration and to look closely at answers to why young people want to live in another country.

• Temporary labour migration should be supported by both government and regional authorities. In contrast, conditions should be created to eliminate permanent labour migration.


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