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Impact of the Syrian Refugee Influx on Turkish Native Workers: An Ethnic Enclave Approach

Bagir, Yusuf (2017): Impact of the Syrian Refugee Influx on Turkish Native Workers: An Ethnic Enclave Approach.

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Abstract

Turkey received about 2.7 million refugees between 2011 and 2015. This paper examines the causal relationship between the Syrian refugee induced increase in labor supply and natives’ labor market outcomes in Turkey using the micro level Household Labor Force Surveys. The migration impact is analyzed in two distinct categories considering the motives behind the migration decision. The initial migration to the border regions is assumed to be completely exogenous and defined as the primary migration. Hence, a standard difference in differences strategy is employed to estimate the labor market impacts in those regions. On the other hand, migration from the primary regions towards the inner regions in Turkey (secondary migration) has suffered from the endogenous selection issues. To handle these concerns, I developed an instrumental variables estimation method following David Card (2009)’s ethnic enclave approach. I found statistically significant negative employment and wage effects on the low-skilled and less-experienced individuals in the primary migration analysis. The decline in the wages of informal workers is the main contributor of the negative wage effects. Secondary migration has no impact on the employment at all but there are statistically significant negative wage effects on the low-skilled and less-experienced workers.

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