Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2016:18: Assigning Refugees to Landlords in Sweden: Efficient Stable Maximum Matchings

Tommy Andersson () and Lars Ehlers ()
Additional contact information
Tommy Andersson: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Lars Ehlers: Département de sciences économiques and CIREQ, Université de Montréal, Postal: Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada

Abstract: The member states of the European Union received 1.2 million first time asylum applications in 2015 (a doubling compared to 2014). Even if asylum will be granted for many of the refugees that made the journey to Europe, several obstacles for successful integration remain. This paper focuses on one of these obstacles, namely the problem of finding housing for refugees once they have been granted asylum. In particular, the focus is restricted to the situation in Sweden during 2015–2016 and it is demonstrated that market design can play an important role in a partial solution to the problem. More specifically, because almost all accommodation options are exhausted in Sweden, the paper investigates a matching system, closely related to the system adopted by the European NGO "Refugees Welcome", and proposes an easy-to-implement mechanism that finds an efficient stable maximum matching. Such matching guarantees that housing is efficiently provided to a maximum number of refugees and that no refugee prefers some landlord to their current match when, at the same time, that specific landlord prefers that refugee to his current match.

Keywords: refugees; forced migration; housing markets; market design; efficient stable maximum matchings

JEL-codes: C71; C78; D71; D78; F22

22 pages, First version: July 18, 2016. Revised: July 11, 2017. Earlier revisions: October 12, 2016, December 7, 2016.

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