Working Paper

The Local Environment Shapes Refugee Integration: Evidence from Post-war Germany


  • Braun
  • S.
  • Dwenger
  • N.
Publication Date

This paper studies how the local environment in receiving counties affected the economic, social, and political integration of the eight million expellees who arrived in West Germany after World War II. We first document that integration outcomes differed dramatically across West German counties. We then show that more industrialized counties and counties with low expellee inflows were much more successful in integrating expellees than agrarian counties and counties with high inflows. Religious differences between native West Germans and expellees had no effect on labor market outcomes, but reduced inter-marriage rates and increased the local support for anti-expellee parties.


JEL Classification
C36, J15, J61, N34

Key Words

  • Einwanderung
  • Forced Migration
  • Immigration
  • Integration
  • post-war Germany

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