Against a background of increasing violence against non-natives, we estimate the effect of hate crime on refugees’ mental health in Germany. For this purpose, we combine two datasets: administrative records on xenophobic crime against refugee shelters by the Federal Criminal Office and the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees. We apply a regression discontinuity design in time to estimate the effect of interest. Our results indicate that hate crime has a substantial negative effect on several mental health indicators, including the Mental Component Summary score and the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 score. The effects are stronger for refugees with closer geographic proximity to the focal hate crime and refugees with low country-speciﬁc human capital. While the estimated effect is only transitory, we argue that negative mental health shocks during the critical period after arrival have important long-term consequences.
Keywords: Mental health, hate crime, migration, refugees, human capital