Modern Migration Theory: The Macroeconomics of Sweden's Refugee Reception


Migration, Borders, Diaspora - Lecture 4

Lecturer: Prof Peo Hansen

Feb. 2, 2022


Today both researchers and policy-makers agree that refugees admitted to the European Union constitute a net cost and fiscal burden for the receiving societies. As is often claimed, there is a trade-off between refugee migration and the fiscal sustainability of the welfare state. In this lecture, Peo Hansen shows that this consensual cost-perspective on migration is built on a flawed economic conception of the orthodox “sound finance” doctrine.

By shifting perspective to examine migration through the macroeconomic lens offered by Modern Monetary Theory, Hansen is able to demonstrate sound finance’s detrimental impact on migration policy and research. Most importantly, this undertaking offers the tools with which both migration research and migration policy could be modernized and put on a realistic footing.

Empirically, the lecture brings these tools to bear on the case of Sweden, the country that, proportionally speaking, has received the most refugees in the EU over the years while also having one of the most comprehensive welfare states in the EU.

Reading

  • Ehnts, D. (2017) Modern Monetary Theory and European Macroeconomics. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Hansen, Peo (2021) A Modern Migration Theory: An Alternative Economic Approach to Failed EU Policy, Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing
  • Mitchell, William, L. Randall Wray & Martin Watts (2019) Macroeconomics, London: Red Globe Press.

Resources

Today both researchers and policy-makers agree that refugees admitted to the European Union constitute a net cost and fiscal burden for the receiving societies. As is often claimed, there is a trade-off between refugee migration and the fiscal sustainability of the welfare state. In this lecture, Peo Hansen shows that this consensual cost-perspective on migration is built on a flawed economic conception of the orthodox “sound finance” doctrine.

By shifting perspective to examine migration through the macroeconomic lens offered by Modern Monetary Theory, Hansen is able to demonstrate sound finance’s detrimental impact on migration policy and research. Most importantly, this undertaking offers the tools with which both migration research and migration policy could be modernized and put on a realistic footing.

Empirically, the lecture brings these tools to bear on the case of Sweden, the country that, proportionally speaking, has received the most refugees in the EU over the years while also having one of the most comprehensive welfare states in the EU.

Reading

  • Ehnts, D. (2017) Modern Monetary Theory and European Macroeconomics. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Hansen, Peo (2021) A Modern Migration Theory: An Alternative Economic Approach to Failed EU Policy, Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing
  • Mitchell, William, L. Randall Wray & Martin Watts (2019) Macroeconomics, London: Red Globe Press.

Resources