French refugee survey

Abstract

We analyze barriers to refugee integration in France using original survey data. Leveraging access to French asylum office’s administrative database, we construct a representative sample of refugees who were granted refugee protection between 1989 and 2015. After encouraging results from a pilot survey that we completed in April 2018, we will launch in September 2018 fall the first large-scale survey of refugees ever undertaken in France. This project will examine three different aspects of the integration process of refugees (waiting time, refugee housing and welcoming contracts) using causal research designs like regression discontinuity and difference in differences. For example, previous work has shown that the time refugees have to wait to receive refugee status, which varies from a few weeks to several months, can have detrimental effect on integration prospects. Preliminary results using French administrative data reveal that an increase in this waiting period significantly reduces naturalization rates. To explain this pattern, the survey will explore two potential mechanisms: Refugees could either be less likely to apply for naturalization, or they could be less likely to meet the citizenship requirements as a result of the additional waiting time. As refugees continue to arrive in Europe, this work will provide a better understanding of policies that help refugees integrate.

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