Impact of Syrian Refugees in Jordan on Education Outcomes for Jordanian Youth

Ragui Assaad, Thomas Ginn, and Mohamed Saleh

Economic Research Forum, ERF Working Paper Series No. 1214, September 2018


This paper examines the impact of the Syrian refugee influx on educational outcomes for Jordanians, including school entry, progression through basic schooling, advancement to, and progression through, secondary schooling, and entry into higher education. The authors exploit the 2016 Jordanian Labor Market Panel Survey that records retrospective educational outcomes for a nationally representative sample of Jordanians. They use a difference-in-difference approach that compares various educational outcomes across individuals whose localities of birth experienced different levels of exposure to the refugee influx and who belong to age cohorts affected by the influx and ones that were too old to be affected. The authors’ assume that high and low exposure localities would have had similar trends in educational outcomes in the absence of the refugee influx. The authors find no evidence that greater exposure to Syrian refugee has affected educational attainment of Jordanians. Jordanian schools responded to the influx by adding a second shift in schools in high-refugee areas; teacher-to-student ratio and classroom size were both unaffected by the influx. This suggests that the arrival of Syrians did not adversely affect the quality of schooling Jordanians received.