Searching online, it is tough to find studies that support the idea that refugees have a negative impact on its host countries’ economy. On Quora.com; a website which gives a platform for people to come together to ask and answer ‘questions that affect the world’, one user named Yannick Meyer answers the question,
“What are the consequences, both negative and positive for Germany of accepting refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries?”
Looking at his answer, he cites no positive impacts for taking in refugees, makes claims about the negative economic, social, and political impacts but does not refer to any studies or sources to back up his claims.
We’ll stick just to his answer on the economic impacts. Yannick tells us that,
‘One of the major effects that refugees have on the host country is economic impact.‘
Yannick is correct. Lebanon, for example has registered 1.1 million Syrian refugees as of March, 2015, the most refugees anywhere in the region. It hasn’t seemed to negatively affect their GDP growth, which the World Bank predicted would grow 2.5 percent in 2015. They also saw an estimated 2.0 percent growth in 2014 which was great compared to the 0.9 percent growth in 2013.
Yannick also states,
“It is frequently thought that refugees are of little economic value…”
Again, we can point to Lebanon, whom has registered the most refugees in the world. I quote,
“In fact, the inflow of refugees has arguably helped the Lebanese economy withstand the negative effect of its neighbor’s civil war. Refugees have been an important source of demand for locally produced services in Lebanon, funded from own savings and labor income, from remittances of relatives abroad and from international aid. In a recent World Bank report, we estimate that an additional 1 percent increase in Syrian refugees increases Lebanese service exports by 1.5 percent.”
Our friends’ argument about negative economic impacts doesn’t seem to hold in the face of actual studies and numbers. It is easy to rant and spew rhetoric without having to find actual numbers and studies to back up what you’re saying. I highly encourage Yannick and anyone else to find any evidence or studies that support his claims and post them on this blog.
Reading and learning about the refugee crisis and how it has affected certain countries whom have given asylum to a large number of them, we should encourage our lawmakers and appointed public servants that the US expedite its admission to those fleeing war and persecution and maybe learn a little compassion from our friends over in Lebanon.