Living in Limbo: Economic and Social Costs for Refugees

26 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2016 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016

See all articles by Olena Havrylchyk

Olena Havrylchyk

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES); Labex ReFi

Nadiya Ukrayinchuk

University of Lille, LEM

Date Written: November 1, 2016

Abstract

Our paper tests the hypothesis that living in limbo could have negative consequences for socio-economic integration of refugees. We define limbo as a protracted time period when asylum seekers are granted only a temporary residence permit linked to the asylum application, waiting for the decision concerning a permanent refugee status. To quantify the impact of limbo, we rely on the data from the French survey of migrants, ELIPA. We measure integration by labor market participation, fluency in French, finding new French friends and studying. We first demonstrate that limbo is exogenous as it is not related to the ability of refugees to fulfill administrative procedures. Then, we show that a higher share of the time living in limbo slows down all aspects of socio-economic integration, except fluency in French. The chances of a given refugee being employed are 1.2 times higher than for a refugee that spent one standard deviation more time in limbo, while the odds of having French friends and studying in France are 1.7 times higher, respectively. There are little gender differences.

Keywords: forced migration, refugees, socio-economic integration

JEL Classification: J15, J18

Suggested Citation

Havrylchyk, Olena and Ukrayinchuk, Nadiya, Living in Limbo: Economic and Social Costs for Refugees (November 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2880065 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2880065

Olena Havrylchyk (Contact Author)

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES) ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'hopital
106-112 Boulevard de l'Hôpital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France

Labex ReFi ( email )

79 avenue de la République
Paris, 75011
France

Nadiya Ukrayinchuk

University of Lille, LEM ( email )

Lille Cedex, 59020
France

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