How modern monetary theory could be a catalyst for modern migration theory

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from: 11:00
to: 12:00

Join our seminar that will discuss the merits of Modern Monetary Theory, showing how it offers a realistic approach to migration.

Researchers and policy-makers are in basic agreement that refugees and low-skilled migrants admitted to the EU constitute a net fiscal cost for the receiving societies. In his presentation, the author shows that this cost-perspective on migration is based on a misconception stemming from the orthodox sound finance paradigm. As a corrective to the orthodox view, he discusses the merits of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), showing why it offers a more realistic approach to migration, whereby refugees and migrants with low incomes would not be seen as fiscal burdens, but rather as the real resources they are.

The empirical focus will draw on the Swedish experience 2015–2018, when Sweden reluctantly built a now discarded real-world model that managed to admit large numbers of refugees while at the same enabling increased welfare spending and investment in depopulating rural communities. The model can be said to have represented an MMT-moment in that it was made possible by the temporary suspension of Sweden’s austere fiscal rules. In demonstrating the realism and fiscal sustainability of this model, the presenter argues that the Swedish model, in principle, also invented the wheel for how the EU could re-think the fiscal approach to refugee reception. Likewise, he also argues that the migration policy debate in the EU would benefit from engaging with the implications of the eurozone’s subsequent MMT-moment, namely the pandemic-induced suspension of the Stability and Growth Pact’s fiscal rules and the implementation of the ECB’s Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme.

Speaker: Peo Hansen (Linköping University);

Chair: Stephanie Acker (Migration Policy Centre (MPC) of the EUI’s Robert Schuman Centre).