Living in Limbo: Economic and Social Costs for Refugees
36 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2016 Last revised: 7 Mar 2020
Date Written: September 24, 2019
Our paper tests the hypothesis that living in limbo could have negative consequences for socioeconomic integration of refugees. We define limbo as a protracted time period when asylum seekers are waiting for the decision concerning a permanent refugee status. Relying on the French survey of migrants, the ELIPA, we measure integration by labor market participation, fluency in French, finding new French friends and studying. We instrument limbo with administrative backlog and show that a higher share of the time living in limbo slows down integration, but results differ with respect to gender and educational attainment.While living in limbo slows down most aspect of socio-economic integration for refugees with no degree or high-school degree, refugees with bachelor education do not experience negative effects. Male refugees living in limbo have a much lower likelihood of being employed and studying in France while female refugees make fewer French friends.
Keywords: forced migration, refugees, socio-economic integration
JEL Classification: J15, J18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation