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The Impact of Syrian Conflict and The Refugee Crisis on Labour Market Outcomes of Host Countries

Giovanis, Eleftherios and Ozdamar, Oznur (2020) The Impact of Syrian Conflict and The Refugee Crisis on Labour Market Outcomes of Host Countries. Working Paper. Economic Research Forum (ERF).

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Abstract

The civil war in Syria, which started in March of 2011, has led to a massive influx of forced migration, especially from the Northern Syria to the neighbouring countries. The unexpected movement of refugees has created large exogenous labour supply shocks with potential significant effects on the labour and living standard outcomes of natives in the host countries. While earlier studies have explored the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the natives’ labour outcomes little is known about its impact in Egypt. Furthermore, the literature does not provide evidence about the impact of the Syrian refugee inflows on the labour outcomes of migrants who have been relocated in the host countries before the refugee crisis. Using a difference-in-differences (DID) framework this study explores the impact of Syrian refugees on labour outcomes in Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. Furthermore, we implement an instrumental variables (IV) approach within the DID framework, where we instrument the Syrian population at the area-governorate level of the host country with variables that incorporate physical travel distances. The results are mixed and vary, not only across the labour outcomes explored, but also across demographic and socio-economic groups, as females and low educated are mostly affected by the refugee crisis negatively. However, the effects, positive or negative, are rather negligible.

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