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The Economic Integration of Forced Migrants: Evidence for Post-War Germany

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Author Info

  • Bauer, Thomas K.

    ()
    (RWI)

  • Braun, Sebastian

    ()
    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Kvasnicka, Michael

    ()
    (Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)

Abstract

The flight and expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe during and after World War II constitutes one of the largest forced population movements in history. We analyze the economic integration of these forced migrants and their offspring in West Germany. The empirical results suggest that even a quarter of a century after displacement, first generation migrants and native West Germans that were comparable before the war perform strikingly different. Migrants have substantially lower incomes and are less likely to own a house or to be self-employed. Displaced agricultural workers, however, have significantly higher incomes. This income gain can be explained by faster transitions out of low-paid agricultural work. Differences in the labor market performance of second generation migrants resemble those of the first generation. We also find that displacement considerably weakens the intergenerational transmission of human capital between fathers and children, especially at the lower tail of the skill distribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5855.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2013, 123 (571), 998–1024
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5855

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Keywords: World War II; economic integration; forced migration; West Germany;

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Cited by:
  1. Ziebarth, Nicolas R. & Wagner, Gert G., 2013. "Top‐Down vs. Bottom‐Up: The Long‐Term Impact of Government Ideology and Personal Experience on Values," IZA Discussion Papers 7279, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Braun, Sebastian & Kvasnicka, Michael, 2013. "Immigration and Structural Change: Evidence from Post-War Germany," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79864, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Sebastian Braun & Toman Omar Mahmoud, 2011. "The Employment Effects of Immigration: Evidence from the Mass Arrival of German Expellees in Post-war Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1725, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Christoph Eder, 2013. "Displacement and Education of the Next Generation: Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina," HiCN Working Papers 152, Households in Conflict Network.
  5. Braun, Sebastian & Singer, Gregor, 2012. "Greasing the wheels of the labor market? Immigration and worker mobility," Kiel Policy Brief 52, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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