There has been little analysis of the implications of forced migration for labour markets. This lack of analysis affects humanitarian and developmental policy and programme design. The Labour Market Impacts of Forced Migration (LAMFOR) is a COMPAS project in partnership with Maastricht University that will provide for the first time statistical evidence on the labour market implications of forced migration situations. In addition to the core researchers from Oxford and Maastricht (see below), the project has an Expert Advisory Board composed of senior policy makers and senior scholars who interact regularly with policy makers. LAMFOR is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DIFD) and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) of Germany as part of the Growth and Labour Markets in Low Income Countries Programme (GLM-LIC).
Three key questions that will drive the analysis are:
What is the long-term impact of having ever been a refugee on labour market outcomes for refugees?
What is the labour market impact of return migration for former refugees?
What is the impact of refugees and returnees on host community employment conditions?
The project looks at two different case studies in the African Great Lakes Region: forced migration in and from Burundi (main component of the project) and forced migration to Tanzania. In addition to answering these general questions the project will explore the implications of particular forced displacement experiences such as living in a refugee camp and living in a Rural Integrated Village in Burundi (established for landless returnees).
Burundi has experienced waves of civil conflict since it gained independence from Belgium in 1962. The country experienced a particularly intensive conflict during the 1993-2005 period. Over the past decade, more than 500,000 refugees returned from exile, mainly from Tanzania. In this new context of peace and massive refugee return it is important to explore how the overall process of forced displacement affected the labour markets of Burundi. LAMFOR will collect additional data on this topic in Burundi in 2015 to complement data previously collected by the researchers (national dataset) in 2011.
This project focuses on Kagera, a region located in the northwestern corner of Tanzania. This region was particularly affected by the influx of refugees from the conflicts in Burundi and Rwanda. The project uses data from the Kagera Health and Development Survey and exploits a number of factors (i.e. geographic features and logistic difficulties) which suggest that the location of the refugees in Kagera was largely exogenous allowing for a natural experiment.
Project detailsProject website
UK Department for International Development (DIFD)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany
Part of the Growth and Labour Markets in Low Income Countries Programme
Lead - University of Oxford (Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, COMPAS)
Partner - Maastricht University (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU Merit)
Local collaborator - Universite Sagesse d'Afrique
Principal Investigator - Carlos Vargas-Silva, COMPAS, University of Oxford
Expert - Sonja Fransen, Maastricht University/UNU-Merit
Expert - Isabel Ruiz, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford
Expert - Melissa Siegel, Maastricht University/UNU-Merit
Felix Muvayo Birihanyuma, Director of the Diaspora, Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation of Burundi
Jeff Crisp, Refugees International. Fomer Head of Policy, Development and Evaluation, UNHCR
Mathias Czaika, Senior Research Officer, Oxford Department of International Development
Frank Laczko, Head of Research and Publications, IOM
Khalid Koser, Deputy Director and Academic Dean, Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Editor of the Journal of Refugee Studies
Maitre Renovat Basabakwinshi, Principal, Universite Sagesse d'Afrique, Bujumbura, Burundi
Roger Zetter, Emeritus Professor Oxford Department of International Development. Former director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University
Tom Bundervoet, Director, Development Through Expert Consultancy
Related publicationsThe Economics of Forced Migration Journal of Development Studies, 2013, Vol. 49, No. 6, pp. 772-784. (Ruiz, I. and Vargas-Silva, C.)
Guidelines for Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement. The World Bank, 2012.
Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement: A Mixed Methods Approach. The World Bank, 2012. (Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E., Ruiz, I., Vargas-Silva, C. and Zetter, R.)
Study on Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement: State of the Art Literature Review. The World Bank, 2012. (Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E., Ruiz, I., Vargas-Silva, C. and Zetter, R.)