A Modern Migration Theory
Join us for our next MPC Webinar for a discussion on the recent publication of ‘A Modern Migration Theory’ by Peo Hansen and a wider debate on the issues.
The widely accepted narrative that refugees admitted to the European Union constitute a fiscal burden is based on a seemingly neutral accounting exercise, in which migrants contribute less in tax than they receive in welfare assistance. A “fact” that justifies increasingly restrictive asylum policies. In this book Peo Hansen shows that this consensual cost-perspective on migration is built on a flawed economic conception of the orthodox “sound finance” doctrine prevalent in migration research and policy. By shifting perspective to examine migration through the macroeconomic lens offered by modern monetary theory, the book demonstrates sound finance’s detrimental impact on migration policy and research, including its role in stoking the toxic debate on migration in the EU. Most importantly, Hansen’s undertaking offers the tools with which both migration research and migration policy could be modernized and put on a realistic footing.
In addition to a searing analysis of EU migration policy and politics, Hansen also investigates the case of Sweden, the country that has received the most refugees in the EU in proportion to population. The book demonstrates how Sweden’s increased refugee spending in 2015–17 proved to be fiscally risk-free and how the injection of funds to cash-strapped and depopulating municipalities, which received refugees, boosted economic growth and investment in welfare. Spending on refugees became a way of rediscovering the viability of welfare for all. Given that the Swedish approach to the 2015 refugee crisis has since been discarded and deemed fiscally unsustainable, Hansen’s aim is to reveal its positive effects and its applicability as a model for the EU as a whole
Andrew Geddes | MPC Director, RSCAS, EUI