Adding to the rich literature on the economic integration of refugees, this article extends the scope towards the role of institutions by focusing on the transfer of human capital by means of credential recognition. The 2012 Federal Act of Recognition in Germany is a new institution that provides the possibility to study the transfer of human capital in depth. I argue that analysing the decision for recognition of credentials is an important aspect of economic integration because it mirrors an investment in future labour-market access. I hypothesize that institutions, such as integration and language classes and the refugee status by admission, are key for explaining who tries to obtain official recognition for their credentials. In order to test my hypothesis, I employ panel data from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany. Results show that both a secure residence title and participation in language/integration classes lead to a higher likelihood of applying for the recognition of degrees.
Keywords: Refugees, integration, residence permit, integration classes, recognition