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Refugee migration, labor demand, and local employment

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  • Auer, Daniel
  • Götz, Lilia

Abstract

Whether or not immigration negatively affects the labor market outcomes of natives is an ongoing debate. One of the challenges for empirical evidence is the simultaneity of supply- and demand-side effects. To isolate the demand side, we focus on recent refugees in Germany who are exogenously allocated to districts and largely excluded from the labor market. Using panel data of all German districts between 2010 and 2018 and leveraging variation in the local stock of asylum seekers, we find that 1,000 asylum seekers create 267 jobs on average in a district. This growth effect is mainly driven by a demand for additional labor in service, public administration, and social work. As a consequence, we also observe a significant reduction in the local unemployment rate when more refugees arrive. The dynamic panel data estimates are robust to various sensitivity checks and two different instrumental variable approaches. Quantifying the demand side of immigration adds to our understanding of local labor market dynamics in an increasingly mobile world.

Suggested Citation

  • Auer, Daniel & Götz, Lilia, 2021. "Refugee migration, labor demand, and local employment," GLO Discussion Paper Series 989, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:989
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor demand; refugee migration; employment growth; unemployment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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