Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus Working Papers, Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus

No 05-3:
The Danish Dispersal Policy on Refugee Immigrants 1986-1998: A Natural Experiment?

Anna Piil Damm ()

Abstract: This paper investigates whether the Danish Dispersal Policy on

new refugee immigrants carried out from 1986 to 1998 can be regarded

as a natural experiment. Were refugees randomly assigned to

a location?

The main findings are as follows. First, around 90% of new refugees

were assigned to a location. Second, the dispersal policy successfully

distributed new refugees equally across locations relative to the number

of inhabitants in a location. Third, the actual settlement may

have been influenced by six refugee characteristics. I conclude that

the initial location of new refugees 1986-1998 may be regarded as

random, when controlling for family status, need of treatment, educational

needs, location of close family and friends and nationality at

the time of immigration as well as year of immigration.

Keywords: Dispersal Policies; Refugee Immigrants; Natural Experiments; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J15; R23; (follow links to similar papers)

47 pages, September 2, 2005

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