Blessing or Burden? The Impact of Refugees on Businesses and the Informal Economy

50 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2018 Last revised: 16 May 2019

See all articles by Onur Altindag

Onur Altindag

Bentley University

Ozan Bakis

Bahcesehir University

Sandra Rozo

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business; University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

Date Written: May 15, 2019

Abstract

We study the impact and sudden arrival of more than 3 million Syrian refugees on Turkish businesses. Our empirical design uses the exogenous variation in refugee outflows from Syria and the geographic concentration of Arabic-speaking communities in Turkey prior to the onset of the Syrian conflict. The origin of these communities dates back to the rupture of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, a unique historic episode. Using yearly firm census data from 2006 to 2015, we find that refugee inflows induced a positive impact on the intensive and extensive margins of firm production. The effects are stronger for smaller firms and for firms that operate in the construction and hospitality sectors, they are also largely concentrated in the informal economy.

Keywords: refugees, firms, informality, Turkey, migration

JEL Classification: J46, J61, and O15

Suggested Citation

Altindag, Onur and Bakis, Ozan and Rozo, Sandra, Blessing or Burden? The Impact of Refugees on Businesses and the Informal Economy (May 15, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3188406 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3188406

Onur Altindag

Bentley University

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02145
United States

Ozan Bakis

Bahcesehir University

Ciragan Avenue Osmanpaşa Mektebi Sokak No: 4 - 6
Besiktas
Istanbul, 34353
Turkey

Sandra Rozo (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.sandravrozo.com

University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333
United States

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