Impact of Refugees on Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes

Bilal Malaeb and Jackline Wahba

Economic Research Forum Working Paper Series, No. 1194 (2018)


Jordan hosts 1.3 million Syrian refugees in addition to 1.6 million foreigners residing in Jordan; the non-national population of refugees and immigrants has increased Jordan’s population of 6.6 million by about 45 percent. Drawing on Jordanian Labor Market Panel Survey data from before (2010) and after (2016) the Syrian refugee influx, this paper examines the effect of the influx of Syrian refugees on immigrants in the Jordanian labor market. The authors find that economic immigrants experience negative labor market outcomes as a result of the influx of Syrian refugees, because immigrants and refugee compete in the labor market. Immigrants are more likely to work in the informal sector, work fewer hours, and receive lower total wages as a result of the refugee inflows. The decline in total wages appears to be driven by the decline in hours of work rather than the hourly wage.

Pin It on Pinterest