Center for European Studies

2021 CefES-JRC Webinar Series


Scared Straight?

Threat and Assimilation of Refugees in Germany



#CefESwebinar2021: by Marco Tabellini (Harvard Business School)
Date & Location

Monday 24 May 2021, 5pm (CEST)

Virtual Meeting (Zoom)

Marco Tabellini presents his latest paper "Scared Straight? Threat and Assimilation of Refugees in Germany" with Sulin Sardoschau and Philipp Jaschke.

This paper examines the role of local hostility in determining refugees' cultural and economic assimilation. We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the allocation of refugees across German regions between 2013 and 2018, and assemble a novel data set on values, preferences, and economic outcomes of refugees, and augment it with information on locals. Constructing an index of "local threat'' that combines several proxies for anti-immigrant sentiments, we find that refugees allocated to more hostile regions converge faster to local culture. Yet, despite the faster cultural convergence, refugees assigned to more hostile regions are less likely to be employed and earn lower wages. We interpret these results as evidence for the "threat hypothesis'' of assimilation.

CefES and the European Commission – Joint Research Centre are proud to carry on this initiative with the aim of connecting scholars working on European issues all over the world and to strengthen their cooperation, particularly in this period of high human, social, economic and political distress.