Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Dr. Robert Jensen


The contemporary refugee crises across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa have captured the world’s attention. Much of the existing discourse has focused on the humanitarian and security implications that this crisis will have, specifically for developed regions such as the European Union. This paper, on the other hand, seeks to explore this issue through a purely economic lens, focusing instead on the economic impacts that refugees have on the countries that receive them.

Through exploring the existing academic and popular literature around historical and contemporary case studies, this paper has identified some of the key positive and negative economic effects that refugee crises can have on the host country. On the positive side, refugees can be a boon to the host country by (1) spurring long-term investment (2) filling needed demographic gaps (3) integrating effectively into the labor market (4) becoming productive economic consumers and producers and (5) by increasing bilateral trade with the country of origin. On the negative side, refugees can be a burden to the host country by (1) straining public and private services (2) causing physical and economic overcrowding and (3) increasing societal strife and the potential for civil conflict.

The paper then turns to the contemporary refugee crisis in Lebanon by examining the relevance of these aforementioned positive and negative effects to the Lebanese case. Along the way, the paper provides policy recommendations that can be employed in the Lebanese case to amplify the positive benefits of refugees while mitigating the negative consequences.

Ultimately, the paper hopes to use past refugee crises as an instruction point for how Lebanon can cope with its current crisis. By learning from past examples and applying existing literature to the current crisis, it is this author’s hope that the refugee crisis can be an eventual boon to the Lebanese economy.


refugee, economic effect, host country, Lebanon

Included in

Business Commons



Date Posted: 10 August 2016


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