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How Refugees Can Strengthen Economies

Refugees the world over, along with being considered security threats, are blamed for sapping public resources and stealing jobs. 

But some economists are now turning those assumptions upside down.

Letting refugees die at sea or languish in camps isn’t just morally reprehensible, goes the argument—it is not in anyone’s best economic interest.

Arab countries are at the forefront of the debate over how best to handle refugee flows. “Jordan and Lebanon are actually test cases internationally of whether we can do this better than we have in the past,” says Stefan Dercon, chief economist for the U.K. Department for International Development. Mr. Dercon spoke at the June symposium “For a Better Future for Syrian and Lebanon,” hosted by the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University in Beirut.

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