Barriers to humanitarian migration, victimisation and integration outcomes: Evidence from Germany

Teresa Freitas-Monteiro & Lars Ludolph, London School of Economics and Political Science & Institute for Employment Research

In this paper, we link the peril of asylum seekers’ migratory journey to economically quantifiable outcomes in the destination country by merging refugee survey data from Germany with administrative employment records. We start by showing that, accounting for selection effects, physical victimisation during the journey to safety is strongly associated with significantly lower mental well-being and general health upon arrival in the destination. The victimisation experience has no negative effects at the external margin of economic activity among refugees but severely distorts the human capital investment decision by leading affected refugees to favour low-income employment over host-country education. We do not find these effects for financially victimised asylum seekers, suggesting that physical assault causes refugees relatively more mental distress. All our findings point to unintended consequences of restrictive migration policies that question the metric of a fast labour market integration as the predominant indicator of refugee integration.

About the speaker

Lars is a final year Ph.D. student in Economic Geography at the London School of Economics. His main research areas are the economics of migration and labour economics which he analyses both from a theoretical and an applied perspective. Within his Ph.D. research, Lars focusses on recent migration flows into and within the European Union, with a special emphasis on humanitarian migration and its potential and challenges for local economies. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Lars worked as a researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels and as an economist at the Central Bank of Malta and the European Commission.

Teresa is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. student at the Humboldt University of Berlin and is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Global Mobility of Employees (GLOMO) project, based at the Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany. Teresa holds an MSc in Economics from Tilburg University, an MSc in Applied Econometrics and Forecasting from the University of Lisbon, and a BSc in Economics from Nova School of Business and Economics. Before joining the GLOMO project, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Ireland, as a trainee at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, as a Researcher at McKinsey & Company in Costa Rica and as a Financial Supervisor at the Portuguese Central Bank.


Date: 17 February 2021

Time: 15:00 - 16:00  CEST