Immigration brings economic benefits says leading economist
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Economist Diane Coyle challenges many widely held assumptions about immigration.
According to Coyle, migrants do not take jobs from indigenous workers. Rather, ‘migrants tend to go where labour demand is buoyant’ and most migrants are very highly skilled or less skilled than average, suggesting that they are filling shortages in the labour market rather than competing directly with native-born labour.
It is not the case that the economic benefits of immigration are conferred only on the host country. On the contrary, migrants send substantial sums of money home, to the extent that such remittances now dwarf official development assistance and are on broadly the same scale as annual flows of FDI to developing countries.
As Coyle notes, the subject of immigration often arouses heated passions – not least among senior politicians – ‘which makes it all the more appropriate for an economist to wade in wielding a fire extinguisher’. Coyle’s application of sound economic analysis to this important policy question suggests that the benefits of immigration often exceed the costs.
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