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Forced Migration, Social Cohesion and Conflict: The 2015 Refugee Inflow in Germany

Emanuele Albarosa and Benjamin Elsner ()

No 9913, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: In 2015, Germany welcomed close to one million asylum seekers and refugees from Syria,Afghanistan, the Western Balkans and elsewhere. Although the country was often praised for its welcome culture, theinflow has spurred a debate about identity, social cohesion and the limits of multiculturalism. This paper analyzes theeffect of this inflow on various dimensions of social cohesion. To separate causation from correlation, itexploits the fact that asylum seekers in Germany are allocated to local areas based on an area’s tax revenues andpopulation several years prior. Therefore, the allocation is unrelated to current economic, political or socialconditions. Based on survey data as well as data scraped from newspapers, the paper documents two sets of results.First, it finds no effect on self-reported indicators of trust and perceived fairness, and a small negative effect onand attitudes towards immigrants. In contrast, it finds that the refugee inflow led to an increased incidence ofanti-immigrant violence that lasted for about two years. This increase is larger in areas with higher unemploymentand greater support for right-wing parties.

Keywords: Social Cohesion; International Migration; Migration and Development; Human Migrations & Resettlements; Crime and Society; Indigenous Peoples Law; Indigenous Peoples; Indigenous Communities; Rural Labor Markets; Labor Markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-01-26
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mig, nep-soc and nep-ure
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