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date: 24 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article shows how, over the past four decades or so, the development strategies of the East-Asian nations interacted with the investment strategies of US-based ICT companies to generate a global supply of ICT labour. This process of developing a global ICT labour supply has entailed flows of US capital to East-Asian labour as well as flows of East-Asian labour to US capital. As a result new possibilities to pursue high-tech careers, and thereby develop their productive capabilities, have opened up to vast numbers of individuals in East-Asian nations. Many found the relevant educational programmes and work experience in their home countries. But many gained access to education and experience by following global career paths that included study and work in the US. For the East-Asian nations, the existence of these global career paths has posed a danger of ‘brain drain’: the global career path could come to an end in the US (or another advanced economy) rather than in the country where the individual had been born and bred.

Keywords: ICT labour, labour force, globalization, US-based ICT companies, East-Asian labour, career paths, education and experience

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