Immigration, Housing Rents, and Residential Segregation: Evidence from Syrian Refugees in Turkey
37 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2018
The massive inflow of Syrian refugees is argued to drastically affect various social and economic outcomes in the hosting countries and regions. In this paper, we use micro-level data to investigate whether the Syrian refugee inflows have affected the market for housing rentals in Turkey. The unexpected arrival of a large number of refugees due to civil conflict in Syria is used to construct a quasi-experimental design. Since the construction of new housing units takes a long time, refugee inflow resembles a positive demand shock to the sector.We find that the refugee inflows have led to an increase in the rents of higher-quality housing units, while there is no statistically significant effect in the rents of lower-quality units. This finding supports a residential segregation story, which suggests that the refugee wave has increased the demand for native-dominant neighborhoods with better amenities especially among natives. We argue that negative attitudes towards refugees – potentially due to refugee-native conflict along several dimensions – may be generating this result.
Keywords: Syrian refugees, immigration, housing rents, quasi-experimental design, Turkey
JEL Classification: C21, F22, R21, R23
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