Quote of the Week, 10.08.2014

Too much immigration harms social consent

How much migration is best for everyone? This is the critical question – for wealthy countries that people immigrate to as well as for the countries of origin. […] The economic consequences of immigration are negligible. The social consequences are much more critical. We know that a certain degree of cultural diversity is beneficial to society as immigrants bring innovation and variety. But this is true only to a certain extent as too diverse societies may have negative effects. Thanks to Robert Putnam we know that mutual trust within a society tends to diminish with an increasing diversity through immigration. This is of importance to wealthy societies because we have innumerable, very complex institutions that are built on mutual trust and cooperation, such as our social security systems for instance. If a society is too diverse, it is more difficult to organise cooperation within such systems. In research, this is not controversial, it is considered standard.

Paul Collier in an interview with Zeit-online, 9th Feb 2015. Professor Collier is Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2015-02/interview-collier-zuwanderung-fluechtlinge/komplettansicht