Scared Straight? Threat and Assimilation of Refugees in Germany

97 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2021 Last revised: 20 May 2024

See all articles by Philipp Jaschke

Philipp Jaschke

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Sulin Sardoschau

Humboldt University - Department of Economics

Marco Tabellini

Harvard Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2024

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of local threat on the assimilation of refugees, exploiting
plausibly exogenous variation in their allocation across German regions between 2013
and 2016. We use representative survey data and administrative records to measure
cultural preferences and economic outcomes of refugees and German residents, and
construct a threat index that integrates contemporaneous and historical variables on
xenophobia at the local level. We document that refugees assigned to more hostile
regions converge to German culture more rapidly, but do not find a job more quickly
and experience slower earnings growth. We provide evidence that, by heightening
threat perceptions, local hostility prompts refugees to adopt German culture more
quickly. However, higher discrimination in these regions slows down refugees' economic
integration.

Keywords: Migration, refugees, culture, assimilation, identity

Suggested Citation

Jaschke, Philipp and Sardoschau, Sulin and Tabellini, Marco, Scared Straight? Threat and Assimilation of Refugees in Germany (May 2024). Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Working Paper No. 22-043, Harvard Business Working Paper No. 22-043, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3988428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3988428

Philipp Jaschke

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

Sulin Sardoschau

Humboldt University - Department of Economics ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, AK Berlin 10099
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/sulinsardoschau/home

Marco Tabellini (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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