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Immigration, Housing Rents, and Residential Segregation: Evidence from Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Binnur Balkan (), Elif Ozcan Tok (), Huzeyfe Torun () and Semih Tumen ()
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Elif Ozcan Tok: Central Bank of Turkey

No 11611, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: The massive inflow of Syrian refugees is argued to drastically affect various social and economic outcomes in the hosting countries and regions. In this paper, we use micro-level data to investigate whether the Syrian refugee inflows have affected the market for housing rentals in Turkey. The unexpected arrival of a large number of refugees due to civil conflict in Syria is used to construct a quasi-experimental design. Since the construction of new housing units takes a long time, refugee inflow resembles a positive demand shock to the sector. We find that the refugee inflows have led to an increase in the rents of higher-quality housing units, while there is no statistically significant effect in the rents of lower-quality units. This finding supports a residential segregation story, which suggests that the refugee wave has increased the demand for native-dominant neighborhoods with better amenities especially among natives. We argue that negative attitudes towards refugees – potentially due to refugee-native conflict along several dimensions – may be generating this result.

Keywords: Syrian refugees; immigration; housing rents; quasi-experimental design; Turkey (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 F22 R21 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara, nep-cwa, nep-geo, nep-mig, nep-soc and nep-ure
Date: 2018-06
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