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Refugees Effect on The Economy

Project by Polygence alum Caleb

Refugees Effect on The Economy

Project's result

The purpose of my project was to determine the effect that refugee has on a host countries economy. After studying three different countries I came to the conclusion that refugees have minimal impact on a host countries economy. The main reason for this is refugees often make up a small portion of a countries population, so they have minimal impact. Additionally, other factors such as government decisions, global events, or natural disasters often have more sway on the economy than refugees. As a result of my research I believe that policy makers should not factor in the economy when considering their refugee policy.

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Every year, over 32 million people are displaced and forced to flee their country, creating a refugee crisis. The dilemma then becomes what to do with these people. While it would be humanitarian to accept them, governments must weigh many factors, such as the economy, human rights, and citizen well-being when deciding their policies. This paper examines this issue of refugees through one of those factors: an economic lens. Refugee data was taken from three countries: The United States of America, Lebanon, and Germany. These countries were chosen because they are from different areas of the world and face different circumstances. Data was taken from periods when there was a refugee spike or a change in border policy–for example during US policy changes in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The refugee data from these periods was then compared to economic factors, such as GDP and unemployment to determine the effect of refugees on the host country’s economy GDP.



Polygence mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy


Social Science, Quantitative


Economics, Statistics




Graduation Year


Project review

“I think polygence met my expectations. I wanted to be able to complete a research project and polygence allowed me to do so.”

About my mentor

“He was very helpful throughout the whole process.”