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The case for freedom of movement

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

The single most important determinant of people’s life chances is not how talented they are or how hard they work, it’s where they were born. A bright, enterprising, hard-working woman born in an African village is likely to lead a worse life than a lazy dimwit born in North America, Europe or Australia. Migration can change that. In fact, allowing people in poorer countries to move to richer ones with …

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After the G20, can the EU lead on trade?

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

By Iana Dreyer At the G20 summit in Hamburg over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders were among the few advocates for free trade. In a summit declaration heavy on weasel words such as “reciprocity”, “mutual”, “trade defence”, “level playing field”, they managed to insert a commitment (with caveats) to “keep markets open”. Which begs the question: With President Donald Trump leading the US in an increasingly protectionist direction, might …

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Why the EU-Japan trade deal matters, not least for Brexiting Britain

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

By Hosuk Lee-Makiyama Free traders haven’t had much good news lately. So far this year, we’ve seen President Donald Trump withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), start to renegotiate the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and threaten trade wars with Germany and China. Meanwhile, Europe’s trade policy has been mired in crisis following the near-failed ratification of its Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada and legal wrangling over its …

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Europe’s many crises haven’t gone away

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

Europe’s refugee crisis hasn’t gone away. While the grubby deal between the EU and Turkey has staunched inflows to Greece, many refugees are trapped there and various walls and barriers block the Balkan route, record numbers of people are taking the longer and more dangerous crossing from lawless Libya to Italy. More than 2,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, according to the IOM. …

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Does World Refugee Day make a difference?

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

“This not about sharing a burden. It is about sharing a global responsibility, based not only the broad idea of our common humanity but also on the very specific obligations of international law. The root problems are war and hatred, not people who flee; refugees are among the first victims of terrorism.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres Tuesday, June 20th, was World Refugee Day, the 17th of its kind. It …

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Brexit: A solution in search of a problem

In Blog by Hosuk Lee-Makiyama0 Comments

Philippe’s newsletter last week included the quote “Brexit matters to voters not because of what it is, but what it brings”. The past week only brought more uncertainty about purpose. Why did we just have an election? And whatever the voters once thought leaving the EU would bring, many voters now think of Brexit as a solution in search of a problem. And some find the most contrived arguments to find a problem: the right-wing tabloids …

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The upside to an era of political upheaval

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

We live in an age of political turmoil. Many people are angry, fearful and confused. Old loyalties are breaking down and new cleavages are appearing. Nothing is settled. Take the UK election results this week. A year ago, Britons shocked the political establishment by narrowly voting to leave the European Union. People voted Leave for all sorts of reasons after a dirty campaign marked by lies and xenophobia. Power then …

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EU aid to refugees abroad isn’t a substitute for offering humanitarian protection

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

Our Refugees Work study highlighted how refugees in advanced economies often become entrepreneurs. Think of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, hedge-fund manager and philanthropist George Soros and Asian business magnate Li Ka-Shing. But what of those who remain trapped in refugee camps in developing countries? While they have far fewer opportunities, some manage to overcome huge obstacles to start successful businesses and social enterprises. In a new blog post for OPEN, Jackie Edwards highlights how refugee …

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Africa’s refugee-camp entrepreneurs

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

By Jackie Edwards Karrus Hayes started small. With a $50 loan and some free space donated by a church, he created a school for refugee children in Budubaram camp in Ghana. But Hayes, himself a refugee from Liberia, didn’t stop there. He has built a much bigger non-profit organisation called Vision Awake Africa For Development that offers community college and micro-finance services to other refugee social entrepreneurs – and builds …

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The cost of cutting immigration

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

The surest way to cut immigration is to crash the economy – and Brexiting Britain is leading the way. Official figures released this week confirmed that growth slowed to a mere 0.2% in the first three months of the year, while net migration – arrivals minus departures – fell by a quarter to 248,000 in 2016. With the pound worth much less and inflation outpacing wages, Britain is a less attractive …

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Far From Being a Burden, Research Suggests Refugees Come With Benefits

In News by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

An Open Political Economy Network study released last May determined that an investment in “welcoming refugees” will nearly double in economic benefits within five years. Refugees often take “4D” jobs — dirty, difficult, dangerous or dull — that many don’t want. They start new businesses that create new jobs. The experience of being uprooted from one culture and exposed to another often sparks creativity and entrepreneurship among refugees. And they tend …

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Quoted on the trade implications of Brexit in Quartz

In News by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

OPEN founding partner Hosuk Lee-Makiyama was quoted by Quartz in an article on the trade implications of Brexit on 5 July. Now that Britain has voted to leave the European Union, it faces the daunting task of renegotiating a long list of trade deals as a newly independent entity: all the deals the EU already has with other countries, the ones the EU is currently negotiating, and a deal with …

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Quoted in EU Observer

In News by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

OPEN founder Philippe Legrain was quoted extensively about the economic contribution of refugees in Lisbeth Kirk’s article for EUObserver on how to integrate refugees into the economy. Philippe Legrain, a former economics adviser to the European Commission, said there were quite a few businesses being proactive and recruiting refugees, but overall they needed to do more. He has led one of the first comprehensive, international studies on how refugees can contribute …

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Euractiv on OPEN’s study: Les réfugiés, futur moteur économique des pays riches de l’UE

In News by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

Georgi Gotev wrote about OPEN/Tent’s refugee economics study for Euractiv on 19 May. « Les réfugiés sont souvent perçus comme un fardeau que l’on se partage ou que l’on esquive, alors qu’en réalité ils représentent une véritable opportunité qu’il faudrait accueillir », explique Philippe Legrain, fondateur d’OPEN et chercheur émérite à l’institut européen de la London School of Economics. « Avec des investissements de départ adaptés, les réfugiés qui travaillent, quelles que soient leurs …

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Quoted in The Economist

In News by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

OPEN founding partner Hosuk Lee-Makiyama was quoted in The Economist’s Charlemagne column on what pizza reveals about Italy’s economic woes on 6 June Chefs and farmers, pizza-makers included, have every right to brand their dish and set their own standards. The state must obviously ensure that food is safe. Governments have an interest, too, in guaranteeing the quality of some premium appellations—Champagne, say. But the profligate use of state-enforced GIs …

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Open Up: How to fix the flaws in the EU’s Digital Single Market

In Reports by Philippe Legrain2 Comments

The EU has launched a blizzard of digital initiatives recently – including a wide-ranging Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy, new data-privacy rules and several antitrust cases against US tech giants – with the latest announcement due on 11 January. But what if these EU initiatives don’t add up – or would actually make matters worse? In a ground-breaking new study for OPEN, Open Up: How to fix the flaws in the EU’s Digital …

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Refugees Work: A humanitarian investment that yields economic dividends

In Reports by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

Investing one euro – or dollar – in welcoming refugees can yield nearly two in economic benefits within five years. That is a key finding of OPEN’s new report – to our knowledge, the first comprehensive, international study of how refugees can contribute to advanced economies – which is co-published with Tent, a foundation whose mission is to help forcibly displaced people. Amid the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, developed countries …

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