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Migration restrictions and long-term regional development: evidence from large-scale expulsions of Germans after World War II

Michael Wyrwich ()

No 2018-002, Jena Economic Research Papers from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena

Abstract: Migration restrictions are a hotly debated topic in the current refugee crisis in Europe. This paper investigates the long-term effect of a restrictive migration policy on regional development. The analysis is based on the large-scale expulsion of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe after World War II (WWII). Expellees were not allowed to resettle in the French occupation zone in the first years after the War while there was no such legislation in the other occupation zones (U.S.; U.K; Soviet Union). The temporary migration barrier had long-lasting consequences. In a nutshell, results of a Difference-in-Difference (DiD) analysis show that growth of population has been significantly lower in the long run, if a region was part of the French occupation zone. Even 60 years after the removal of the barrier the degree of agglomeration is still significantly lower in these areas. The paper discusses implications for the current refugee crisis.

Keywords: Migration barrier; population shock; refugee migration; long-term regional development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J11 J61 N34 R11 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo, nep-his, nep-mig and nep-ure
Date: 2018-01-08
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