A possible French “brain drain” due to French academics moving to US

A new report suggests that the French economy will suffer due to the larger number of French academics who are choosing to relocate in the United States:

The report, by the Institut Montaigne, a leading independent research group in Paris, found that academics constitute a much larger percentage of French émigrés to the United States today than 30 years ago. According to the report, between 1971 and 1980, academics represented just 8 percent of the departing population; between 1996 and 2006, they represented 27 percent of the departing population…

Of the 2,745 French citizens who obtained a doctorate in the United States from 1985 to 2008, 70 percent settled there, the study found…

Today, many French academics working in the United States say their choice to leave their country was largely motivated by an American system “where universities are larger, richer and more flexible than in France,” said Dr. Philippon, the professor at New York University…

The French lifestyle, which puts a higher value on quality of living and less emphasis on competition and getting ahead, is no longer sufficient to keep talented researchers in France, many scientists said. In a country where science is often viewed as cut off from society, French universities do little to glorify their researchers, they said, and offer working conditions that are often mediocre.

It appears that the American educational system is quite attractive because of its opportunities, monetary and otherwise.

On the whole, this seems like a cultural issue: what should universities be like? Is the American model something that others in the world aspire to or are there other successful ways to construct universities and encourage scholarship? It would be interesting to hear from the other side, French academics who chose to stay in France (particularly when they could have gone elsewhere) or French professors in fields not mentioned in this article that are viewed more positively within the French academy.

h/t Instapundit