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Friday, September 11, 2015

Burden? What Burden?

A very smart, evidence-based piece from the Washington Post:
Refugees are often described as a "burden" for the countries they settle in. The usual thinking is that they are drain on limited government coffers and a weight on sluggish economies, but that countries ought to take them in for moral and legal reasons...

However, research that has looked at the effect of refugees around the world suggests that, in the longer run, this view is often wrong. From Denmark to Uganda to Cleveland, studies have found that welcoming refugees has a positive or at least a neutral effect on a host community's economy and wages. 
...Clemens cites a study by Kalena Cortes, a Texas A&M professor who followed refugee and non-refugee immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in the late 1970s. Cortes found that it took the refugees a few years to get on their feet. But soon the refugees were out-earning non-refugee immigrants, and adding more value to the economy each year than the entire original cost of receiving and resettling them.
Plus this factoid, you might have never known, on famous American refugees. And from that already illustrious list, you might also add Steve Jobs (son of Syrian refugee)
A long list of innovative and important Americans were refugees, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Jerry Yang of Yahoo, and Sergey Brin of Google. Andrew Grove, who fled Hungary at the age of 20, helped build the modern semiconductor industry at Intel, without which your iPhone wouldn't exist.
Also check out this graph on twitter by @henrysherrell. Among Australian migrants, those on humanitarian visas are most likely to be entrepreneurs in the future.


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