Are refugees good or bad for the economy? I ask you because I do not know what to think of it. My country do not like them and they have gotten a bad image here.

I would like to hear some facts backup with good evidence which prove the conclusions are true.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on Economics.SE Jun 6 '17 at 16:43
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    Just because it could be considered on-topic on another site doesn't mean it's off-topic here.
    – user11249
    Jun 6 '17 at 17:43
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    How many refugees, from where, with what level of education, with how different of a culture, with how much applicable language skills, going to where, with how much willingness to adapt to the new culture, etc.? The only suitable answer I could give to the question as written is "It depends on the refugees" (From current political events I can assume a lot, but those would still be assumptions.)
    – Jeutnarg
    Jun 6 '17 at 18:11

According to this article in The Economist (leans free-market/deregulation) regarding refugees in Germany:

Evidence suggests that immigration has only a small impact on employment or wages.

...but also points out several caveats and concludes with:

Of course, these figures are highly uncertain, and depend on how many more refugees arrive, how quickly their asylum applications are processed and how soon they find jobs. Governments can make their impact more benign by accelerating all those steps.

This article from PBS regarding refugees in the US mentions:

For the U.S., on net, it’s positive, because there are gains when people come, add to the labor market, add skills and generally, earn less than what they can contribute to the society as a whole. So there are benefits, but there are distributional consequences that can be quite complicated.

The Brookings Institute (leans liberal) has this to say about Syria and Lebanon:

So assume you are in a country that has taken in a quarter, or even 2.6 percent, of your population as refugees fleeing war and prosecution. Would your economy collapse? Last time we checked, that was not quite the case. The Lebanese economy has been growing beyond expectations over the past two years

Conclusion? Not sure there is one. Seems to be plenty of analysis out there but no groundbreaking conclusive results one way or the other. My non-economist opinion is that it's a complex topic and would depend heavily on the specifics of each nation and each refugee population.

  • I agree that there is no conclusion. It depends a lot of the skill set, willingness to accept the new environment and many other variables which are not included in the question. Want to highlight a problem with your last citation: there is a difference between the case where refugees come from Syria to Lebanon and to Germany. In 1st case the culture/traditions/beliefs/language stays largely the same. It takes at ~ 2 years for a very smart individual to learn completely new language (in US I saw examples were after 10+ years people can barely talk). Its hard to find a job if you can't speak. Jun 7 '17 at 1:28
  • I used to do minimum-wage jobs for a few years after I left school at 16 @SalvadorDali, and you'd be surprised how many coworkers I had who could barely speak either Dutch or English. Communicating with them sort-of worked by – as we say in Dutch – "talking with your hands and feet". Most of the actual job-hunting and such seems to have been done by specialized recruiting agencies and such.
    – user11249
    Jun 7 '17 at 1:52
  • @Carpetsmoker 'talking with your hands and feet' might work if you want to explain someone where you want to put the pizza, but the more complex the task is, the harder it is to use your 'hands and feet' to explain it. Back to my comment: I was not arguing that communication between people who do not share the common language can't exist. I also have not told that it is impossible to work without speaking the language. I told that the 3-rd example might not be applicable to Germany because the conditions are completely different and told that it is hard to find a job if you can't speak. Jun 7 '17 at 2:07
  • Sure @SalvadorDali; just replying to your "Its hard to find a job if you can't speak"-comment, as this is perhaps not as hard as you might think for low-income jobs. At least, it didn't appear to be a major hindrance in The Netherlands 10/15 years ago.
    – user11249
    Jun 7 '17 at 2:12
  • @SalvadorDali mentioned in my answer: "There is a study by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) stating that in the past it has taken refugees roughly 15 years to reach a level similar to other migrants." Jun 12 '17 at 14:27

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