UCLouvain Economics Seminar - Elie Murard, University of Alicante

October 20, 2022

12:45 - 14:00


Doyen 22, Place des doyens 1

Elie Murard

University of Alicante will give a presentation on

Refugees in the Mediterranean: Economic Consequences


We investigate the long-term economic consequences of mass refugee inflow. After the Greco-Turkish war of 1919–1922, 1.2 million Greek Orthodox were forcibly resettled from Turkey to Greece, increasing the host population by more than 20 percent within a few months. Building a novel geocoded dataset of more than 10,000 settlements in Greece, we examine the educational and occupational outcomes of refugee and native villages and their variation across birth cohorts throughout the 20th century. Using a Diff-in-Diff empirical approach, we find that refugee villages invested more in education and experienced greater structural transformation and industrialization relative to native ones. We find evidence in support for the “uprootedness” hypothesis, with forced migration (i) causing a shift in preferences toward investment in human portable assets (as opposed to physical) (ii) reducing the utility cost of leaving farming, as refugees are less attached to the land in their new location (relative to natives).

Joint with Nikos Benos, Stelios Karagiannis, Stelios Michalopoulos, Elias Papaioannou, and Seyhun Orcan Sakalli

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