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First Time around: Local Conditions and Multi-Dimensional Integration of Refugees

Author

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  • Aksoy, Cevat Giray

    (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

  • Poutvaara, Panu

    (University of Munich)

  • Schikora, Felicitas

    (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

We study the causal effect of local labor market conditions and attitudes towards immigrants at the time of arrival on refugees' multi-dimensional integration outcomes (economic, linguistic, navigational, political, psychological, and social). Using a unique dataset on refugees, we leverage a centralized allocation policy in Germany where refugees were exogenously assigned to live in specific counties. We find that high initial local unemployment negatively affects refugees' economic and social integration: they are less likely to be in education or employment and they earn less. We also show that favorable attitudes towards immigrants promote refugees' economic and social integration. The results suggest that attitudes toward immigrants are as important as local unemployment rates in shaping refugees' integration outcomes. Using a machine learning classifier algorithm, we find that our results are driven by older people and those with secondary or tertiary education. Our findings highlight the importance of both initial economic and social conditions for facilitating refugee integration, and have implications for the design of centralized allocation policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Aksoy, Cevat Giray & Poutvaara, Panu & Schikora, Felicitas, 2020. "First Time around: Local Conditions and Multi-Dimensional Integration of Refugees," IZA Discussion Papers 13914, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13914
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    Cited by:

    1. Panu Poutvaara, 2021. "Population Aging and Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 9105, CESifo.
    2. Aksoy, Cevat Giray & Poutvaara, Panu, 2021. "Refugees' and irregular migrants’ self-selection into Europe," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    3. Freitas-Monteiro, Teresa & Ludolph, Lars, 2021. "Barriers to humanitarian migration, victimisation and integration outcomes: evidence from Germany," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 110500, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Jacob Nielsen Arendt & Iben Bolvig & Mette Foged & Linea Hasager & Giovanni Peri, 2021. "Language Training and Refugees’ Integration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    5. Prömel, Christopher, 2021. "Belonging or estrangement: The European refugee crisis and its effects on immigrant identity," Discussion Papers 2021/16, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    6. Cristina Bratu & Matz Dahlberg & Madhinee Valeyatheepillay, 2021. "Age at Arrival and Residential Integration," CESifo Working Paper Series 9181, CESifo.
    7. Pia Schilling & Steven Stillman, 2021. "The Impact of Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigrants on Their Integration in the Host Country," CESifo Working Paper Series 9308, CESifo.
    8. Jacob Nielsen Arendt & Iben Bolvig & Mette Foged & Linea Hasager & Giovanni Peri, 2020. "Language Training and Refugees' Integration," NBER Working Papers 26834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international migration; refugees; integration; allocation policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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