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The Refugee’s Dilemma:Evidence from Jewish Migration out of Nazi Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Johannes Buggle
  • Mathias Thoenig
  • Thierry Mayer
  • Seyhun Orcan Sakalli

Abstract

In this paper we estimate the push and pull factors involved in the outmigration of Jews facing persecution in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1941 when migration was banned. Our empirical investigation makes use of a unique individual-level dataset that records the migration history of almost the entire universe of Jews living in Germany over the period. Our analysis highlights new channels, specific to violent contexts, through which social networks affect the decision to flee. We first estimate a structural model of migration where individuals base their own migration decision on the observation of persecution and migration among their peers. Identification rests on exogenous variations in push and pull factors across peers who live in different cities of residence. Then we perform various counterfactual policy experiments in order to quantify how migration restrictions in destination countries affected the fate of Jews. For example, removing work restrictions for refugees after the Nuremberg Laws (in 1935) would have led to 27% increase in Jewish migration out of Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Buggle & Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Mayer & Seyhun Orcan Sakalli, 2020. "The Refugee’s Dilemma:Evidence from Jewish Migration out of Nazi Germany," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 20.01, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:20.01
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Refugees; Migration Policy; Antisemitism; Nazi Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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