Andrew Cook



Document Type



Historically, Greece has been a nation that focused heavily on the trading of goods for its economic success, due to its ideal geographic location serving as a conduit to the near east. However, in recent years the Greek economy has undergone changes that have altered its exports and the structure of the labor market. Greece continues to suffer repercussions from the 2008 Global Economic Crisis, which has caused a large outward migration of skilled workers. During the years of 2010-2015, between 280,000 and 350,000 skilled migrants had fled Greece to work in other nations abroad (Labrianidis & Pratsinakis 2016). Greece’s main export is human capital, valued at $13.9 billion, which is larger than its oil, aluminum, and drug exports combined (Endeavor 2016). Human capital refers to the economic value of the experience and skills of a worker, which are created through education, training, and intelligence (Kenton 2023). Greece is one of the nations within the European Union which is experiencing the highest rates of human capital flight. The phenomenon of human capital flight in Greece was exacerbated by the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Human capital flight, also known as brain drain, is the emigration of skilled workers from a less developed country to a more developed country. Skilled workers can be defined as those who work in the tertiary sector of the economy, for example; doctors, lawyers, or engineers. These workers migrate to highly developed nations for reasons such as an increase in wages, improved quality of life, less government corruption, etc. Highly skilled workers are a vital aspect of a country’s economy because they create higher amounts of economic output which fuels a nation’s development. Greece is an example of a nation which is affected by human capital flight, especially after its inability to recover economically from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. This research prompts the question: how does human capital flight impact Greece’s economy in the aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis? Works from previous scholars lay out the theoretical frameworks for human capital flight discussing how and why it occurs.


Political Science

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Rachel Navarre, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Inkyoung Kim, Committee Member
Dr. Sidita Kushi, Committee Member

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.