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Impact of Refugees on Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes


  • Bilal Malaeb

    () (University of Oxford)

  • Jackline Wahba


The Syrian refugee influx in Jordan came on top of an additional 1.6 million foreigners residing in Jordan. The non-national population of refugees and immigrants had increased Jordan’s population of 6.6 million by about 45%. This raises an important question on whether the inflow of refugees has displaced immigrants in the Jordanian labor market. In this paper, we use novel data from Jordan from before and after the Syrian refugee influx to test whether economic immigrants were affected by Syrian refugees. We address several threats to identifications: the selectivity of immigrants and the geographic sorting of immigrants and refugees within Jordan using instrumental variable approach. We find that, as a result of the Syrian refugee influx, immigrants were more likely to work in the informal sector, and they worked fewer hours and had lower total wages as a result. The results suggest that the main competition that occurred in the Jordanian labor market was not between refugees and natives, but rather between refugees and economic migrants.

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  • Bilal Malaeb & Jackline Wahba, 2018. "Impact of Refugees on Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 1194, Economic Research Forum, revised 10 May 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:1194

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fallah, Belal & Krafft, Caroline & Wahba, Jackline, 2019. "The impact of refugees on employment and wages in Jordan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 203-216.
    2. Lucia Hanmer & Diana J. Arango & Eliana Rubiano & Julieth Santamaria & Mariana Viollaz, 2018. "How Does Poverty Differ Among Refugees? Taking a Gender Lens to the Data on Syrian Refugees in Jordan," HiCN Working Papers 281, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. Deole, Sumit & Huang, Yue, 2020. "How do new immigration flows affect existing immigrants? Evidence from the refugee crisis in Germany," GLO Discussion Paper Series 579, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Caroline Krafft & Susan Razzaz & Caitlyn Keo & Ragui Assaad, 2019. "The Number and Characteristics of Syrians in Jordan: A Multi-Source Analysis," Working Papers 1288, Economic Research Forum, revised 2019.
    5. Maria Pitukhina, 2020. "Migration Labor Laws," European Journal of Social Sciences Education and Research Articles, European Center for Science Education and Research, vol. 7, January -.
    6. Aksoy, Cevat Giray & Tumen, Semih, 2020. "Local Governance Quality and the Environmental Cost of Forced Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 13145, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Leonardo Peñaloza Pacheco, 2019. "Living with the Neighbors: The Effect of Venezuelan Forced Migration on Wages in Colombia," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0248, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

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