Why Do People Migrate? Part 1: Facts

Chapters 3 › Unit 3: SCROLL DOWN FOR INSTRUCTIONS View instructions Hide instructions


This article from The Economist puts the finger on the painful question of the "economic cost" of hosting refugees.
Read the article and comment on the European experiences in this respect in your journal.
You can also comment on what others have done in their own journals!

On the "economic cost" of hosting refugees in Europe


On the "economic cost" of hosting refugees in Europe

Statements like “we can’t afford it”, “they will drive wages down” or “they’ll take our jobs” seem to be a standard response of many Europeans when confronted with the need - never mind obligation - to take in refugees. However, evidence shows that immigration has only a minimal impact on employment rates and wages. Even in cases where natives are displaced from low-level manual jobs, they usually take up jobs involving less manual labour and associated with that sometimes benefit from higher wages. Add to that the aging demographics of Europe (in 2030 almost 25% of the European population will be above age 65 ), with the need to boost the workforce to keep public pensions going - and it seems that attracting rather than repelling protection seekers is the rational course of action.

There is no denying that there are initial costs involved in looking after and integrating refugees and helping them enter the labour market. The IMF has estimated “that refugees will add around 0.19% of GDP to public expenditure in the European Union (0.35% in Germany) in 2016.” This is not nearly as much as some of the media hype may make you believe - but more importantly, for every Euro thus invested, within 5 years nearly two euros in economic benefits may be gained.

As a recent international study by OPEN (co-published with Tent) showed, “welcoming refugees is not only a humanitarian and legal obligation, it is an investment that can yield substantial economic dividends.”

Your Comment

Please login to leave a comment.