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Attitudes and Policies toward Refugees : Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries (Inglês)

Exclusionary policies, such as limits on refugees’ movement and the right to work, are often justified as reasons to minimize economic and social tensions with host communities. While these policies have a negative effect on refugees’ economic outcomes, their ability to mitigate frictions with host communities is unknown. Inclusionary policies, on the other hand, could foster mutual gains and positive relations. This paper builds an extensive dataset of attitudes and economic outcomes, refugee populations, and policies at the sub-national level covering 14 years (2005-2018) and most low- and middle-income countries. Using event study and difference-in-differences methodologies, it assesses the effects of the arrival of large waves of refugees and finds little evidence that large refugee arrivals have a negative effect on average attitudes or economic outcomes in the short-term. There are also no significant differences between places with restrictive and inclusive policies, including de jure access to the labor market and opening camps.

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