Economists on the Refugee Path

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was created in 1950 as a temporary measure to aid an estimated 40 million refugees after World War II. “But the problem never went away,” explains Robert J. Shiller, Yale professor of economics in an essay for Project Syndicate. The UNHCR reports near 60 million “forcibly displaced” people, including 20 million internationally displaced. As president of the American Economic Association, Shiller has called for more economic research and sensible policies on refugees. Research already suggests that most refugees flee terrorism and conflict, rather than poverty, and welcoming refugees into a community aids rather than hampers local economies. Policymakers must be cautious about creating problematic incentives, including brain drain or tyrants who chase minorities away from their homelands. Asylum laws procedures are “haphazard and archaic,” Shiller concludes. “Economists can help by testing which international rules and institutions are needed to reform an inefficient and often inhumane system.” – YaleGlobal

Economists on the Refugee Path

Robert Shiller, president of the American Economic Association, calls for economic research and sensible policies on refugees and reforms of an inhumane system
Robert J. Shiller
Monday, January 25, 2016

Robert J. Shiller, a 2013 Nobel laureate in economics, is professor of economics at Yale University and the co-creator of the Case-Shiller Index of US house prices. He is the author of Irrational Exuberance, the third edition of which was published in January 2015, and, most recently, Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception, co-authored with George Akerlof.

© 1995 – 2016 Project Syndicate

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