Alumni profile

Metka Hercog

Thesis: Highly skilled migration and new destination countries: How government policies shape destination choices, 2014

Promotor(s): Hildegard Schneider & Mindel van de Laar

Metka Hercog is a political scientist, with an emphasis on international development processes. Her main expertise is in labour migration with a special regional focus on Europe at a receiving end and  India  as  a  sending  country.    For her PhD, she  is  focusing  on  the  effects  of  government policies  on  the  choice  of  a destination  country  for  highly  skilled  migrants.  The  research  builds  on  developing  the  link  between immigration policies and determinants for migration.  During her PhD, she had a visiting research fellowship at the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She has also carried out extensive fieldwork in India, where she was affiliated with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Ms. Hercog obtained an MSc degree in International Development Studies from Utrecht University and a University Degree in Political Science from the University of Ljubljana. She currently works as a scientific researcher at the Center for Cooperation and Development, at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

Educational Background

  • August 2005 MSc International Development Studies, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands
    Master thesis topic: Managing Natural Resource Scarcity and Conflict in Tanzania
  • August 2004 MSc Political Science – International Relations, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Master thesis topic: Development Policy of the European Union in the Western Balkans through Trade Policies
Research Interest
My main research interest centers on the effects of government policies on the choice of a destination country for highly skilled migrants. My research accepts the newly emerging perspective and considers skilled migration as a supply-side problem where the role of the state is seen as one about attracting potential migrants. The considerations of migrants are put to the forefront bearing in mind that the country choice of highly skilled migrants may be more deliberate and that determinants of migration may be reversed from those found in other forms of migration.

The research project focuses on mobility of highly skilled Indians between India and the Netherlands. A multi-level approach is utilized, by observing society- as well as individual-level factors. At a macro level, a theoretical and statistical analysis look at the supply and demand-side factors in explaining highly skilled migration. Furthermore, the elements of the governmental policies are observed from the perspective of incentives and disincentives with an aim to make an inventory of all elements of the policy that might affect the destination choice. The research also looks at the causal mechanisms of migration flows at a micro level. A survey among highly-skilled Indian workers is implemented at high-technology companies based in the Netherlands. Furthermore, qualitative interviews are conducted with key informants and professionals in high-technology sector in the Netherlands and in India.

Next to my research, I manage the development of a Master programme in European Migration Policies in collaboration between Maastricht University and European Institute of Public Administration.

Research title:
Government Policies and Highly-skilled  Migrants

Main research question:
What is the role of government policies on the choice of a destination country for highly-skilled migrant?

The focus of this research project is the effect of government policies on the choice of a destination country for highly-skilled migrants, bearing in mind that the country choice of highly-skilled migrants may be more deliberate than that of migrants of lower skills and that the determinants of their migration may be different. The project in particular looks at migration of highly-skilled Indians. A multi-level approach is utilized and both, society-level as well as individual-level factors are observed. At a macro level, a theoretical and statistical analysis examines the supply- and demand-side factors that explain highly-skilled migration. At a micro level, qualitative interviews and a survey in India focus on the perception of migration among finalists at several universities and those of professionals working in high-technology companies.

  • Hercog, M. (2008), “The Role of the State in Attracting Highly-Skilled Migrants: The Case of the Netherlands”, EIPASCOPE 3/2008.
  • De Neubourg, C., P. Beckers, M. Hercog (2008),”Burning Bridges, Building Ships: Changes in immigration in the Netherlands, trends, policies and incentives", paper for the World Bank MENA international migration programme.

Selected publications by Metka Hercog