Liberal Displacement Policies Attract Forced Migrants in the Global South

54 Pages Posted: 28 May 2021

See all articles by Christopher W. Blair

Christopher W. Blair

University of Pennsylvania

Guy Grossman

University of Pennsylvania

Jeremy M. Weinstein

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Center for Global Development

Date Written: May 26, 2021

Abstract

Most forced migrants around the world are displaced within the Global South. We study whether and how de jure policies on forced displacement affect where forced migrants flee in the developing world. Recent evidence from the Global North suggests migrants gravitate toward liberal policy environments. However, existing analyses expect de jure policies to have little effect in the developing world, given strong presumptions that policy enforcement is poor and policy knowledge is low. Using original data on de jure displacement policies for 92 developing countries, and interviews with 126 refugees and policymakers, we document a robust association between liberal de jure policies and forced migrant flows. Gravitation toward liberal environments is conditional on factors that facilitate the diffusion of policy knowledge, such as transnational ethnic kin. Policies for free movement, services, and livelihoods are especially attractive. Utility-maximizing models of migrant decisionmaking must take de jure policy provisions into account.

Keywords: Global South; Forced Migration; Migration Policy

JEL Classification: F22, D74

Suggested Citation

Blair, Christopher and Grossman, Guy and Weinstein, Jeremy M., Liberal Displacement Policies Attract Forced Migrants in the Global South (May 26, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3853941 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3853941

Christopher Blair (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Guy Grossman

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

133 S. 36th Street
Perelman Center for Political Science and Economic
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
(215) 898-4209 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://web.sas.upenn.edu/ggros/

Jeremy M. Weinstein

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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