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First Time around: Local Conditions and Multi-dimensional Integration of Refugees

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Panu Poutvaara, Felicitas Schikora

In: Journal of Urban Economics 137 (2023), 103588, 15 S.


We study the effect of local unemployment and attitudes towards immigrants at the time of arrival onrefugees’ multi-dimensional integration outcomes. We leverage a centralized allocation policy in Germanywhere refugees were centrally assigned to live in specific counties. To measure sentiments of native residentstowards immigrants, we use geo-coded Twitter data, which provides our ‘‘negative sentiment index’’. Ourresults show that attitudes towards immigrants are as important as local unemployment rates in shapingrefugees’ integration outcomes. A one standard deviation increase in unemployment or in the negativesentiment index predicts five percentage points lower probability of refugees being employed in 2016 to 2018.In additional robustness check, we present an analysis that uses far-right vote share as an alternative measureof sentiments of native residents.

JEL-Classification: F22;J15;J24;R23
Keywords: International migration, Refugees, Integration, Allocation policy, Far-right voting, Negative sentiment

Supplementary material