Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: A Spatial Study

Casto Martin Montero Kuscevic and Hossein Radmard

Applied Economics Letters, 2019


Lebanon hosts the second largest population of Syrian refugees and has the highest per capita population of Syrian refugees in the world. This paper examines the spatial distribution of Syrian refugees across districts in Lebanon and investigates the factors that explain settlement patterns. The analysis is based on district-level data from the Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (VASyR) for the period 2015-2017. The authors find:

Access to credit appears to explain the distribution of refugees across districts. Other examined factors (food consumption and living conditions) are not statistically significant determinants of refugee location.

  • Refugees cluster in a few districts, which are surrounded by districts with small numbers of refugees. The authors suggest that since credit is more likely to come (directly or indirectly) from other refugees, clustering increases the likelihood of accessing credit.