The Economic Contribution of Humanitarian Settlers in Australia
Article first published online: 25 APR 2013
© 2013 The Author. International Migration © 2013 IOM
Special Issue: THE GLOBALLY MOBILE SKILLED LABOUR FORCE: POLICY CHALLENGES AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES
Volume 52, Issue 2, pages 31–52, April 2014
How to Cite
Hugo, G. (2014), The Economic Contribution of Humanitarian Settlers in Australia. International Migration, 52: 31–52. doi: 10.1111/imig.12092
- Issue published online: 16 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 25 APR 2013
This article assesses the economic role of refugee settlers in Australia. Refugee-humanitarian labour force participation rates are lower than for other migrant groups or the Australia-born. However, their labour market performance converges toward that of the Australia-born over time. Moreover, the second generation performs at a higher level. There are a number of significant impediments to participation including language, education, structural disadvantage and discrimination. Indeed, there is evidence of a significant refugee gap which can only be explained by discrimination. It is shown that refugees represent a significant stock of human capital that is not being fully realized. They suffer more than other groups through non-recognition and there is substantial “brain waste” with negative results for the economy and the migrants themselves. Finally, it is shown that refugee-humanitarian settlers show greater propensity to form their own business than other migrants and that risk-taking, entrepreneurialism and an ability to identify and take advantage of opportunities is a key characteristic of the group.
- The international food security agenda needs to consider the growing challenge of feeding rapidly growing cities with large migrant populations
- The reality of internal and international migration should be mainstreamed into the food security agendas of international organizations and states
- Food security and insecurity should be configured into the global debate on migration and development
- International, regional and municipal policies need to pay particular attention to the food insecurity of migrant populations in the cities of the South.