A better understanding of how immigrants shape the economy of Costa Rica can help policy makers formulate policies to boost positive effects and mitigate negative effects of immigration. This report finds that immigration has a limited, but varying, economic impact in Costa Rica. Immigration tends to reduce the employment rate of the native-born population, but does not affect labour income. The estimated share of value added generated by immigrants is above their share of the population. In 2013, immigrants’ contribution to the government budget was below that of the native-born population, while expenditures for both groups were similar. Policies aimed at immigrant integration, by increasing de facto access to public services and to the labour market, could enhance immigrants’ economic contribution.
How Immigrants Contribute to Costa Rica's Economy is the result of a project carried out by the OECD Development Centre and the International Labour Organization, with support from the European Union. The project aimed to analyse several economic impacts – on the labour market, economic growth, and public finance – of immigration in ten partner countries: Argentina, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa and Thailand. The empirical evidence stems from a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses of secondary and in some cases primary data sources.
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