How Immigrants Contribute to Kyrgyzstan's Economy

OECD Development Centre

The recent effects of immigration on the Kyrgyz economy appear to be limited. Many immigrants have been in the country for several decades, hence are overrepresented among the older cohorts, resulting in a lower labour force participation rate than among the native-born. Still, the estimated share of value added generated by immigrants exceeds their share of the labour force but also of the population. Overall, immigration is not associated with a deteriorating labour force situation for the native-born population. In contrast, the current contribution of immigrants to public finance appears to be negative. The high concentration among retirement-age individuals is a major reason for this outcome as the estimate disregards their prior contributions to public revenues. Kyrgyzstan's economy would benefit from changes in certain migration and non-migration sectoral policies.

How Immigrants Contribute to Kyrgyzstan’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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