Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Settlement Location Shapes Refugee Integration: Evidence from Post-war Germany

Author(s): Sebastian T. Braun and Nadja Dwenger

Publication Date: December 2019

Keyword(s): Forced Migration, Post-War Germany and Regional Integration

Programme Area(s): Economic History and Public Economics

Abstract: Following one of the largest displacements in human history, almost eight million forced migrants arrived in West Germany after WWII. We study empirically how the settlement location of migrants affected their economic, social and political integration in West Germany. We first document large differences in integration outcomes across West German counties. We then show that high inflows of migrants and a large agrarian base hampered integration. Religious differences between migrants and natives had no effect on economic integration. Yet, they decreased intermarriage rates and strengthened anti-migrant parties. Based on our estimates, we simulate the regional distribution of migrants that maximizes their labor force participation. Inner-German migration in the 1950s brought the actual distribution closer to its optimum.

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Bibliographic Reference

Braun, S and Dwenger, N. 2019. 'Settlement Location Shapes Refugee Integration: Evidence from Post-war Germany'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.