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Venezuelans are 36% more likely to be financially impacted by COVID-19 than Colombians
WASHINGTON—The Center for Global Development and Refugees International launched a report today finding that COVID-19’s economic effects hit Venezuelan refugees in Colombia particularly hard. Venezuelans living in Colombia are more likely than locals to work in impacted sectors, and very few work in sectors relatively immune to COVID-19’s economic shocks, researchers found.
The paper’s authors, Jimmy Graham and Martha Guerrero Ble, compared the Colombian government’s nationally representative labor market data from August to October 2019 and the International Labor Organization’s analysis of global sectors most highly impacted by COVID-19 in order to calculate how Venezuelan refugees in Colombia are being financially affected by the pandemic.
COVID-19’s wide impact has hurt the labor prospects of both Colombians and Venezuelans in Colombia alike, but the impact is harder felt among Venezuelans, and Venezuelan women in particular. Among other findings, the authors discovered that:
64 percent of employed Venezuelans work in highly impacted sectors, compared to 47 percent of employed Colombians.
Only 3 percent of employed Venezuelans work in the least impacted sectors, compared to 13 percent of employed Colombians.
Venezuelan women are even more adversely affected, with 78 percent of employed Venezuelan women working in highly impacted sectors, compared with 57 percent of employed Venezuelan men and 59 percent of employed Colombian women.
46 percent of employed Venezuelans work in the informal economy, compared to 35 percent of employed Colombians.
“These findings underscore the fact that Venezuelans face numerous barriers to accessing the full Colombian labor market - something which has had adverse consequences during COVID-19," said Helen Dempster, the Assistant Director and Senior Associate for Policy Outreach for Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy at the Center for Global Development. "Removing these barriers, as we show in a new case study released today, would contribute nearly $1 billion to the Colombian economy every year."
“COVID-19 is creating a widespread loss of livelihoods for Venezuelans and Colombians alike,” said Cindy Huang, Vice President for Strategic Outreach at Refugees International and Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development. “Greater economic inclusion for Venezuelans can help prevent loss of income, evictions, food insecurity, and poverty, and can support Colombia’s economic recovery long-term.”
In response to the recent migrant and refugee crisis, rich countries have redoubled policy efforts to deter future immigration from poor countries by addressing the “root causes” of migration. We review existing evidence on the extent and effectiveness of such efforts.
The wellbeing of adolescent girls in developing countries shapes global economic and social prosperity -- yet girls' needs often are consigned to the margins of development policies and programs. This new report describes why and how to provide adolescent girls in developing countries a full and equal chance in life. Offering targeted recommendations for national and local governments, donor agencies, civil society, and the private sector, Girls Count provides a compelling starting point for country-specific agendas to recognize and foster girls' potential.
We study a natural experiment that excluded almost half a million Mexican ‘bracero’ seasonal agricultural workers from the United States, with the stated goal of raising wages and employment for domestic farm workers. We reject the wage effect of bracero exclusion required by the model in the absence of induced technical change, and fail to reject the hypothesis that exclusion had no effect on US agricultural wages or employment. Important mechanisms for this result include both adoption of less labor-intensive technologies and shifts in crop mix.
The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit poorer nations. Denmark takes first in 2015. The UK is tied for sixth while the United States is 21st. Japan takes last of 27.
An influential strand of research has tested for the effects of immigration on natives’ wages and employment using exogenous refugee supply shocks as natural experiments. Several studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the effects of noted refugee waves such as the Mariel Boatlift in Miami and post-Soviet refugees to Israel. As a whole, the evidence from refugee waves reinforces the existing consensus that the impact of immigration on average native-born workers is small, and fails to substantiate claims of large detrimental impacts on workers with less than high school.