Labour Market Impacts of Forced Migration

Dr. Isabel Ruiz, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford

This Labour Market Impacts of Forced Migration project explores the economic consequences of forced displacement for those who are displaced, their hosts and those who return home after the end of conflict. The project focuses on the case of Tanzania as the host country and Burundi as the main source country of refugees. The project relies on quantitative analysis of secondary data from Tanzania (i.e. the Kagera Health and Development Survey) and new data from Burundi. This presentation will give an update on the project but will focus on the case of Burundi. For Burundi, we explore differences in economic outcomes between return migrant households and non-migrant households. We also look at those who never left but were displaced and subject to a policies called re-groupment camps. For returnees, the results indicate that returnee households have significantly lower levels of livestock. Returnee households also report lower values of subjective economic well-being relative to other households. The gap between returnee and non-migrant households is driven by more recent returnees (those that returned <10 years ago), with different channels underlying these differences. In contrast, those households that experienced regroupment are six percentage points less likely to own livestock and nine percentage points less likely to have crop and livestock production for subsistence as their main economic activity. Households that experience regroupment are also six percentage points more likely to have waged employment as their main economic activity. These patterns could be the consequence of regroupment camp residence also affecting previous agricultural skills and resulting in fewer transfers of agricultural skills across generations.

About the speaker
Dr. Ruiz is the official fellow in economics at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. She has published on topics related to international capital flows (foreign direct investment and workers' remittances) and in international migration with a recent emphasis in forced migration. Her recent publications include “The Labor Market Consequences of Hosting Refugees” (forthcoming) in the Journal of Economic Geography; “The Labor Market Impacts of Forced Migration” (2015) in the American Economic Review; “Forced up or down? The impact of forced migration on social status” (with Melissa Siegel) in the Journal of Refugee Studies (2015) and “Remittances and the Business Cycle: A Reliable Relationship?” (2013) in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Isabel is an associate of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at Oxford and one of the researchers in the “The Labour Market Impacts of Forced Migration” project joint with Maastricht University and funded by UK DFID and IZA.

Venue: Conference room 0.16-0.17

Date: 20 April 2016

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT