Research Seminar

Refugee Settlement and Social Integration: Evidence from Turkey — Thomas Gautier

05 Oct 2021


Thomas Gautier (Kiel Insitute)


This paper explores how refugee networks influence social integration in the host community. I study this question in the context of Turkey, a country that has been profoundly impacted by the arrival of more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees since 2011. Using a rich dataset on the mobile phone communications of Syrian refugees, I construct village-level measures of refugee presence and social integration. In villages with a larger refugee population, refugees make significantly more phone calls with locals and other refugees, and a higher proportion of their calls are placed to locals. Furthermore, refugee networks are more important for social integration when the refugee population is small relative to natives, and when the cultural gap between refugees and locals is wider. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that refugee networks make it easier for their members to interact with locals by sharing information on local norms and creating new opportunities to meet locals.


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