Sämre villkor för ukrainska flyktingar är slöseri

I korthet: Det här inlägget har publicerats som en insändare i Sydöstran den 2/1 2023. Villkoren för flyktingar från Ukraina är sämre än villkoren för andra flyktingar. Det är inte bara ovärdigt. Det är också ett slöseri med resurser. Ukrainare som har kommit till Sverige är högre utbildade än boende i Sverige och har en högre sannolikhet att bli sysselsatta än andra med liknande bakgrund.

In English here:

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Sweden’s reception of Ukrainain refugees is unworthy and a waste of resources.

Spoiler: This post was published as a letter to the newspaper Sydöstran on 2/1/2023. The conditions for refugees from Ukraine arriving to Sweden are worse than the conditions for other refugees. This is not only unworthy. It is also a waste of resources. Ukrainians who have come to Sweden are more highly educated than residents in Sweden and have a higher probability of being employed than others with a similar background.

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We need better educated people to work longer

Spoiler: In my previous post, I showed that we need more people to work longer. In this post I will look at the composition of human capital. I calculate a human capital stock as the product of the number of hours worked, the number of employees, and the experience and the education levels of the employees.

The decomposition of the contribution of human capital per capita growth to GDP per capita growth shows that growth of education and experience, i.e., skills have declined over time. The decomposition of human capital does not take the quality of education into account. Over time, resources to higher education have been diluted both extensively and intensively. Several low-quality post-high school institutions have been established at the same time as many vocational educations have received academic statuses. The additions of that to the knowledge stock can be debated. 

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We need more people to work longer!

Spoiler: In a previous post I argued that the lower growth of Swedish GDP per capita is a consequence of our own choice. As our incomes grew over time, we began to consume more services instead of goods. The shift in demand led to a reallocation of labour and capital from the more productive goods-producing industries to services. Thus, Services industries share of GDP has increased over time at the expense of Manufacturing industries. This led to decreasing growth rates. Furthermore, the reallocation of capital from Manufacturing to Services reinforced this decrease of growth rates. This development is a consequence of increasing prosperity.

As incomes have grown, we have chosen to work less. We have also chosen to have fewer children and smaller families. That has over time led to fewer people in the working ages supporting an increasing share of older people. It has also led to relatively fewer young people filling the ranks of the working population.

To prevent GDP per capita growth from stagnating, we need more people that work longer. But reversing declining fertility rates is not easy and increasing immigration can only help temporarily. To prevent GDP per capita growth, ee need to increase productivity growth.

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