Migrants Positively Effect Chile’s Economy & Society  

By Agenda Pais (El Mostrador)

HAVANA TIMES – They provide human capital, consume services and products, pay taxes, generate economic activity, and contribute to innovation and creation, among other things, explains an expert.

The positive effects of immigration remain over time and are growing. About 1.9 million migrants (according to data from the INE and private organizations) are currently in our country, most of whom come from Venezuela, Peru, Haiti and Colombia.

This population -which represents almost 10% of the inhabitants on Chilean soil- exerts a positive effect on the economy, in various fields, “bringing human capital, contributing to the GDP through their work, paying taxes, increasing the size of the markets, consuming services and products that generate economic activity and contributing to the pool of people available to innovate and create”, comments Juan Nagel, academic from the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences of the Universidad de los Andes.

“Researchers Aldunate, Contreras, de la Huerta and Tapia, from the Central Bank of Chile, investigated the positive effect on the economy of migrants in Chile in 2019 and concluded that they have a positive impact on the growth of the country through long term. In other countries of the world there is deep empirical evidence on this subject”, adds Nagel.

The expert details that, although skilled immigrants may, initially, generate downward effects on the growth of wages in certain professions, in general, immigration is beneficial even for those professions most affected.

Let’s take medicine for an example. The arrival of many foreign doctors makes it possible to decongest the health system, lower the cost of care and generate greater activity in this field,” he maintains.

“There are studies that indicate that migrants generate in our country an economic activity close to US $4 billion annually. As time goes by, the contribution of immigrants increases, they have higher birth rates than those of the local population and these children will end up studying, working, paying taxes, consuming, and innovating. The positive effects of immigration remain over time and grow,” he adds.

In addition to the economic impact of the arrival of foreigners in our country, there are many other positive aspects of their inclusion in our society.

“To the extent that Chile can open up to the integration of other cultures, society will be enriched. There are many migrant students, academics, businessmen and professionals. The integration of the unskilled foreign population is also necessary to give cohesion to Chilean society and so that the descendants of these immigrants can contribute to their new country”, concludes the University of the Andes academic.

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