Quarterly Digest December Cover

Labor Market Access and Outcomes for Refugees

Refugees’ right to work is protected by international law but often violated in practice. This Digest discusses the barriers that host governments impose on refugees’ labor market access and reviews the academic research on the effects of these policies and practices have on refugees and host communities. As expected, barriers like employment bans significantly harm refugees’ living conditions in most contexts where research is available. However, the evidence also suggests that most segments of the host communities benefit little and may in fact be harmed by restrictions on refugees’ work.