IMF: “Migrants are not a burden but host countries are improving”


While Italy continues to tackle the burning issue of illegal immigration substantially on its own, the voice of the IMF, the International Monetary Fund. But not to invoke support for our country. The body set up in 1945 to prevent the recurrence of serious economic crises, in fact, took the field by officially affirming that migrants not only do not represent a burden for the economies of the states that host them but even encourage the development of nations.

A thesis launched in a new chapter of the World Economic Outlook on “The macroeconomic effects of global migration” spread on the occasion of the Refugee Day. The IMF explains that stating the opposite is a “wrong idea” given that in advanced economies“increase production and productivity both in the short and medium term”.

To reiterate this concept, the organization shows an increase of 1 percentage point in the influx of immigrants compared to total employment increases the Pil almost 1% within five years of their entry. In particular, as regards economic immigration, the analysis highlights the professional skills of the newcomers and those of the indigenous workers bring to the labor market a diversified series of skills and experiences that “they complement each other and increase productivity”. According to the IMF “the increase in productivity deriving from immigration brings benefits to the average income” of the original residents. The same Fund admits that the scenario linked to immigration of refugees to is different emerging markets and in developing economies, a phenomenon that also has political connotations, being linked to wars or discrimination, and which reflects the difficulties that these migrants have to face in order to integrate into local labor markets.

IMF reiterates that “migrations bring great benefits to host countries and offer an opportunity for a better life” to those who move there but at the same time recognize that this phenomenon “It can also create distribution challenges, as indigenous workers in specific market segments could be economically damaged, at least temporarily”. For this reason, the Fund calls on governments to adopt tax policies and the job market that “should be used to support the income and retraining of local workers” while, on the immigrant front, to implement integration-oriented policies “like language training and easier recognition of professional qualifications, can help achieve even better results” from these flows in the host countries. Also, for the IMF, “Coordination of international policies is needed to address the challenges of refugee migration” starting from “sharing reception costs and promoting them integrationin emerging and developing economies.

From a research always diffused by the Fund, it emerges that in 30 years the number of those who can be defined as migrants has more than doubled globally, going from 120 million in 1990 to 270 million in 2019. But their share has remained almost stable, around to 3% of the total inhabitants, due to the increase in the world population. The share of immigrants in advanced economies, however, has increased in this same period from 7% to 12% while that in emerging markets and developing economies has remained stable around 2%. Basically, the IMF observed,“migrants settle in their region of origin” but “a significant part of international migration takes place over long distances (for example, from South Asia to Middle East) and, in particular, from emerging markets and from developing economies to advanced economies “. On the contrary, the movements of the refugees I’m “a more localized phenomenon since vulnerable populations suddenly leave their homes with few resources and move to safer destinations, usually close to the country of origin “.

The analysis explains that “one of the main reasons why people migrate are the differences in income between the countries of origin and those of destination. Countries with a per capita income they experience greater emigration, but only if they are not too poor “. To demonstrate this there is a precise element. “In countries with a per capita income at the origin of less than $ 7,000- explained the Fund- emigration is lower towards advanced economies: and this suggests that people are trapped in poverty because they do not have the necessary resources to overcome the costs of migration “.

But in recent months, due to thesanitary emergency, he registered“an abrupt halt to migration”. For the Fund, if the lockdown “It is temporary, the pandemic can add a general feeling of resistance and have longer-term effects on countries’ willingness to welcome migrants”. Finally, the IMF stressed that “lower immigration and high unemployment in the target economies would harm the countries of origin, especially the poorest ones, which depend significantly on the remittances that migrant workers send home”.

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