The Economics of Migration

The economic effects of migration are debated for centuries, but often blurred by political debate. When economic refugees invest their fortunes and risk their lives to cross the border, are they harming the economy? What is the benefit of attracting highly educated immigrants to your country? Is it ethical to quantify this effect? How do economists reason for a halt on immigration?

The European Union allows for freedom of movement by the Schengen agreement. Due to the economic downturn, unemployment statistics vary widely from Finland to Greece. Would migration be a solution to this problem, either ‘labour mobility’? What are the economic effects of Eastern European labour migrants for the European and Dutch economy? Is it right to claim this is at the expense of employment opportunities, or are we dependent on immigrants to meet the needs of our aging population? How to explain a ‘braindrain’ and how does innovation thrive on cultural diversity?

With a praised scientist from the other side of the world and a sober yet critical scientific journalist we shall address these continuously relevant questions to obtain a nuanced view from an economist’s perspective. Professor Jacques Poot, affiliated with the Waikato University of New Zealand (where he was proclaimed Economist of the Year in 2013), is well-known for his research on Population Economics, migration and labour economics. Journalist Joost Niemoller has worked for a.o. Dutch magazines ‘de Groene Amsterdammer’ and ‘de Nieuwe Revu’. In 2012 he published his book The taboo on immigration: 10 scientists on the facts.

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