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德国为何敞开怀抱欢迎难民?

Claire Groden 2015年09月14日

在欧洲面临的这场难民危机中,德国的表现受到国际社会普遍赞誉。不过,德国敞开怀抱,欢迎难民,并不仅仅是出于人道主义精神。另一个重要原因在于,德国需要大批移民来填补该国日益扩大的劳动力缺口。

    上周,一位德国官员称,德国未来有能力每年接纳50万甚至更多难民。目前,成千上万来自中东和非洲战乱国家的难民涌入欧洲,希望获得更好的生活。

    但如此多的难民涌入德国,会给德国经济带来怎样的影响呢?截至2015年底,德国预计将接收80万难民和移民。德国政府估计,这意味着德国需要为此投入100亿欧元。德国官方预测,明年有资格享受社会福利的人数将增加46万人。

    反对移民的组织认为,外国人将成为德国经济的巨大拖累,因为他们在为这个国家作出贡献之前便希望享受政府提供的服务。但从历史来看,外来者给德国经济带来的一直都是正面影响。有报告显示,2012年,660万在德居住的外国护照持有者平均每人支付的税款和社会保障费用,比享有的社会福利多出4127美元,产生的盈余额达到220亿欧元。德国官方希望,今年夏天的新难民潮,从长远看也能带来类似的经济效益。

    德国劳工部长安德里•纳勒斯表示:“我们将从此次难民潮中受益,因为我们需要移民。我们应该欢迎这些难民成为我们的邻居和同事。”

    事实上,人口因素正是德国允许成千上万移民入境的原因之一。德国是全世界人口老龄化和人口缩减速度最快的国家之一。此外,德国的出生率也是全世界最低的。有鉴于此,要想填补日益扩大的劳动力缺口,德国只能依赖移民。德国之声去年引用一名专家的话称,德国经济需要吸引150万掌握熟练技术的移民,才能在越来越多的德国人退休后保证国家养老金制度的稳定。大量年轻移民的到来,有助于改善德国的抚养比率。“抚养比率”是指65岁以上的人口,与普通工作年龄(即15至64岁)人口的比例。根据目前的官方估算,截至2060年,将有三分之一的德国人超过65岁,这意味着每两个工作人口需要抚养一名退休老人。

    但目前分歧依旧,移民最终将成为国家经济发展的阻碍还是推动力?据哈佛商学院2011年的一份工作文件显示,北欧的移民最开始通常会消耗国家资源,但他们的工资会逐渐提高,使得他们最终可以回馈国家。

    新涌入的难民将帮助还是阻碍德国经济发展,归根结底取决于他们所带来的技能。目前在德国工作的外国人,也就是前文所提到的给国家带来盈余的外国人中,许多都是来自希腊等欧洲国家的高技能工人。而此次涌入德国的移民却相反,许多人可能没有接受过良好的培训。虽然在这方面的研究不多,但有一项预测认为,超过半数难民没有接受过职业培训。这意味着,德国的决策者们必须想出一个万全之策,从长远发展的角度,接纳这些非技术工人,并将他们纳入到德国劳动力大军当中,比如激励他们接受低水平技术工作,或者对他们进行培训,使他们有能力从事更高级别的工作。(财富中文网)

    译者:刘进龙/汪皓

    审校:任文科

    A German official said Tuesday the country can sustain up to 500,000 or more new asylum-seekers or more every year, a comment that comes as hundreds of thousands of people from war-torn countries across the Middle East and Africa are making their way to Europe to chase the promise of a better life.

    But what’s the economic effect of so many migrants streaming into Germany? The country expects to receive 800,000 refugees and migrants by the end of 2015. That could cost as much as 10 billion euros, according to local government estimates. Next year, German officials estimate that as many as 460,000 more people could be entitled to social benefits.

    Some anti-immigration groups argue foreigners are a drain on a country’s economy, as they seek to avail themselves of government services before contributing to the state themselves. But Germany has a long history of outsiders representing a net positive for the country’s economy. The 6.6 million people living in Germany with foreign passports paid $4,127 more in taxes and social security on average than they took in social benefits in 2012–generating a surplus of 22 billion euros that year, according to one report. German officials are hopeful that, in the long run, this summer’s new flood of refugees could result in a similar economic gain.

    “We will profit from this, too, because we need immigration,” German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles said. “The people who come to us as refugees should be welcomed as neighbors and colleagues.”

    Part of Germany’s rationale for allowing hundreds of thousands of migrants through the doors lies in demographics. Germany has one of the world’s most rapidly aging and shrinking populations. With one of the world’s lowest birthrates, the country relies on immigration to plug a growing workforce hole. According to one expert quoted in Deutsche Welle last year, the German economy needs to attract 1.5 million skilled migrants to stabilize the state pension system as more Germans retire. An influx of young migrants could improve the country’s dependency ratio, a measure of those over 65 compared to those of general working age between 15 and 64. According to currentofficial estimates, every third German could be over 65 by 2060, leaving two workers to support each retiree.

    Still, the jury is still hung on whether immigrants overall serve as drains or boosts to economies. According to one 2011 working paper from Harvard Business School, immigrants in Northern Europe have traditionally started off as a drain on state resources, though some of their wages tend to increase over time, allowing them to contribute back to the state.

    Ultimately, whether or not this new wave of migrants helps or hinders Germany’s economy depends heavily on the skillsets they bring. Many of Germany’s current working foreigners — the ones that created the surplus mentioned above — are high-skilled workers from other European countries like Greece. In contrast, the migrants flooding into Germany right now may not be as well-trained. Though the research on the subject is thin, one estimate pegs more than half of refugees lack professional training. That means German policymakers will have to do a very good job of taking unskilled workers and incorporating them into the German labor force in a way that makes sense for long-term growth, whether that’s by incentivizing them to take low-skilled jobs or training them to do higher-level work.

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