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External Publication

The economic effects of refugee return and policy implications

This paper looks at the question of returning asylum seekers and refugees from the economic perspective in the advanced countries that receive refugees: is return in their economic interest?

By: Date: November 14, 2017 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This publication was originally published by OCP Policy Centre

According to the European Union over a million rejected asylum seekers have been ordered to return to their country of origin from Europe alone, or will be soon. To these could be added refugees that have been given temporary shelter but who could be asked to return once conditions in their home country improve. The debate on returning asylum seekers and refugees is nearly always cast in political, legal and humanitarian terms. This paper looks at the question of return strictly from the economic perspective in the advanced countries that receive refugees: is return in their economic interest? Considering all the main economic dimensions – fiscal, economic growth and labor market impact – the answer, for most advanced countries is no. The costs of hosting refugees are front-loaded, while the benefits of hosting them, which are considerable, only accrue over time.

The paper also argues that – on economic grounds alone –mass voluntary return of refugees to their country of origin is highly unlikely even when conditions improve. Development agencies can help countries that are the largest source of refugees recover once conflicts abate and help prevent new refugee crises occurring in the future. However, the expectation that they will promote the return of refugees is unrealistic. Development agencies should not place refugee return as a central objective of their efforts.

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Working Paper

Europe in the midst of China-US strategic competition: What are the European Union's options?

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Blog Post

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Podcast

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Backstage: Reforming the European asylum system

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By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 7, 2019
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Past Event

Past Event

Saving the right to asylum

How to improve the European asylum policy?

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Opinion

What does a possible no-deal Brexit mean?

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By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 24, 2019
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External Publication

Vertical restraints and e-commerce

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The great macro divergence

Global growth is expected to continue in 2019 and 2020, albeit at a slower pace. Forecasters are notoriously bad, however, at spotting macroeconomic turning points and the road ahead is hard to read. Potential obstacles abound.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: December 5, 2018
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