Local Governance Quality and the Environmental Cost of Forced Migration

41 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2020

See all articles by Cevat Giray Aksoy

Cevat Giray Aksoy

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; King’s College London; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Semih Tumen

TED University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

Can high-quality local governance alleviate the environmental impact of large-scale refugee migration? The recent surge in refugee flows has brought additional challenges to local governments in Europe, the Middle East and certain regions of Africa and Asia. In this paper, we focus on the case of Syrian refugees in Turkey and show that the quality of local governance plays a critical role in mitigating the environmental deterioration. We employ text analysis methods to construct a unique data set on local governance quality from the independent audit reports on municipalities.Using a quasi-experimental econometric strategy, we show that the Syrian refugee influx has worsened environmental outcomes along several dimensions in Turkey. Specifically, we find that the deterioration in environmental outcomes is almost entirely driven by provinces with poor-quality governance. Those provinces fail to invest sufficiently in waste management practices and environmental services in response to increased refugee settlements. We argue that good local governance practices can smooth out the refugee integration process and complement the efforts of central governments.

Keywords: Syrian refugees, environment, waste management, local governance, text analysis

JEL Classification: F22, H76, Q53

Suggested Citation

Aksoy, Cevat Giray and Tumen, Semih, Local Governance Quality and the Environmental Cost of Forced Migration. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13145, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3579237

Cevat Giray Aksoy (Contact Author)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
United Kingdom

King’s College London ( email )

Aldwych
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Semih Tumen

TED University ( email )

Ziya Gokalp Bulvari No: 48
Kolej Çankaya, Ankara 06420
Turkey

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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