The new Jamaican migration : implications for theory and practice

Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor's Name

Anthony P. Maingot

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Raul Moncarz

Third Advisor's Name

Lisandro Perez

Date of Defense



While analysis of the effect which education and migration have on development is neither clear cut, nor obvious, regimes such as those of Jamaica have traditionally placed great emphasis on development through education at all levels. The process of human resource development and the accumulation of human capital is intended to unlock the door to modernization. Nevertheless, our findings indicate a considerable loss of professional and skilled personnel -- the same group that embody a disproportionate amount of educational expenditure relative to the population. Insofar as planning is concerned this migration represents a negative factor.

The developing country of Jamaica is unintentionally supplying the developed world with an "annual gift" of human capital which its economy cannot afford. The major issue becomes: to what extent can any government "protect" its investments by restricting movements of capital and people.

The general assumption of this paper is that the question of human rights cannot be ignored especially in democracies (which Jamaica decidedly is), where movement is seen as an ingrained human right. During the 1970s and 1980s, Jamaica and the Caribbean as a whole has lost much through intellectual capital migrations. Yet brains may also die in their own environment, if deprived the ability to create their own criteria and goals. Forcing people to stay with their money and know-how may only serve to produce and economic environment overgrown with weeds of lethargy, indolence and mediocrity.



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