Unwanted Guests: The Impact of Iraqi Refugees on Jordan's Economy
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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As a byproduct of the war in Iraq, half a million displaced Iraqis migrated to neighboring Jordan. What impact did these refugees have on Jordans economy A dominant narrative shared by the international community generally assumes that refugees impose great costs on hosting nations. Despite an abundance of anecdotal claims that the Iraqi refugees were a massive burden on Jordans economy, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support this assertion. Using a quasi-experimental research design that exploits the variation in refugee presence across Jordan, I find that although the Iraqi refugees had a small negative impact across a number of economic measures, the commonly held criticisms are far overstated. Furthermore, I argue that some of the policies Jordan implemented to mitigate the effect of the refugees were counterproductive, eliminating some potentially positive impacts. The results of this study add to a growing body of evidence that shows how local integration refugee policies can be of benefit to both the refugees and the hosting nations.
- Economics and Cost Analysis