Syrian Refugees and the Migration Dynamics Of Jordanians: Moving In Or Moving Out?

Nelly El-Mallakha, and Jackline Wahba

Economic Research Forum Working Paper Series, No. 1191 (2018)


This paper examines the impact of Syrian refugee inflows on the international, return and internal migration patterns of Jordanians. The analysis is based on data from the Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey (JLMPS) of 2016, which is used to construct individual and household panel data relying on retrospective information to track Jordanians’ mobility before and after the beginning of the Syrian war. The authors find that Syrian refugee inflows in Jordan do not have any effect on the international and return migration patterns of Jordanians. However, Syrian refugee inflows increase the probability of Jordanian internal migration. In particular, being a resident of governorates with refugee camps increases the probability of moving out while decreases the probability of moving in. This may be driven by potential negative impacts on the labor market pushing out natives, or an increase in the price of services and housing, or congestion and competition in access to services.