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Evaluating the Impact of Asylum Policies on Long-Term Integration of Refugees

English title Evaluating the Impact of Asylum Policies on Long-Term Integration of Refugees
Applicant Hangartner Dominik
Number 166172
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Politikwissenschaft Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.07.2016 - 30.09.2019
Approved amount 282'266.00
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Keywords (6)

refugees; asylum-seekers; policy evaluation; asylum policy; immigration; immigrant integration

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Dieses Forschungsprojekt wird erstmals umfassend untersuchen, wie wichtige Policy-Elemente des Asylprozesses (Auswirkungen der Dauer des Asylverfahrens, Restriktionen beim Arbeitsmarktzugang, frühe Integrationsmassnahmen, etc.) die Integration von Asylsuchenden, die in der Schweiz als Flüchtlinge oder gleichgestellte Personen anerkannt wurden, beeinflussen.
Lay summary

Wie ganz Europa ist auch die Schweiz mit der zunehmenden und akuten Flüchtlingskrise konfrontiert. Während immer mehr Leute nach Europa fliehen, stehen die Aufnahmeländer vor einer grossen politischen Herausforderung: Wie kann die hohe Anzahl an anerkannter Flüchtlinge, die oft für lange Zeit oder bis zum Lebensende im Land bleiben, am besten integriert werden? Da die kausalen Effekte der Asyl- und Flüchtlingspolitik auf die Integration von Flüchtlingen bisher jedoch nicht systematisch untersucht wurden, wissen wir wenig darüber, welche Massnahmen die Integration von Flüchtlingen verbessern und welche nicht.

Dieses Forschungsprojekt wird dazu beitragen, diese Lücke zu schliessen und erstmals umfassend untersuchen, wie wichtige Policy-Elemente des Asylprozesses die Integration von Asylsuchenden, die in der Schweiz als Flüchtlinge oder gleichgestellte Personen anerkannt wurden, beeinflussen. Wir werden ermitteln, welche Auswirkungen die Dauer des Asylverfahrens, Regelungen während der Wartezeit (z.B. Restriktionen beim Arbeitsmarktzugang und den Sozialleistungen) und gezielte kantonale Integrationsprogramme haben. Indem wir qualitativ hochstehende Register- und Paneldaten unterschiedlicher Verwaltungseinheiten zusammenführen und verschiedene quasi-experimentelle Forschungsdesigns anwenden, können wir die kurz- und langfristigen kausalen Effekte dieser Policies auf ein breites Spektrum von wichtigen Integrations-Outcomes – darunter Arbeitslosigkeit, Einkommen, Niederlassungsbewilligungen, Mischehen und Einbürgerung – quantifizieren sowie beurteilen, wie sich die Effekte dieser Policy-Elemente bei verschiedenen Flüchtlingsgruppen unterscheiden. Die Ergebnisse dieses Forschungsprojekt können dadurch eine wichtige Entscheidungsgrundlage für integrationssensitive Verbesserungen im Asylprozess sein.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.07.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Ethnic networks can foster the economic integration of refugees
Martén Linna, Hainmueller Jens, Hangartner Dominik (2019), Ethnic networks can foster the economic integration of refugees, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(33), 16280-16285.
The long-term impact of employment bans on the economic integration of refugees
Marbach Moritz, Hainmueller Jens, Hangartner Dominik (2018), The long-term impact of employment bans on the economic integration of refugees, in Science Advances, 4(9), eaap9519-eaap9519.
Improving refugee integration through data-driven algorithmic assignment
Bansak Kirk, Ferwerda Jeremy, Hainmueller Jens, Dillon Andrea, Hangartner Dominik, Lawrence Duncan, Weinstein Jeremy (2018), Improving refugee integration through data-driven algorithmic assignment, in Science, 359(6373), 325-329.
When lives are put on hold: Lengthy asylum processes decrease employment among refugees
Hainmueller Jens, Hangartner Dominik, Lawrence Duncan (2016), When lives are put on hold: Lengthy asylum processes decrease employment among refugees, in Science Advances, 2(8), e1600432-e1600432.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Stanford University / Department of Political Science United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
London School of Economics / Department of Government Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Universität Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
City of Zurich / Integrationsförderung Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
University of St. Gallen / Department of Economics Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Stanford University / Department of Economics United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
European Political Science Association (EPSA) Conference Talk given at a conference The Economics and Politics of Employment Bans for Refugees 23.06.2019 Belfast, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Marbach Moritz; Hangartner Dominik;
American Political Science Association (APSA) Conference Talk given at a conference Ethnic Networks Can Foster the Economic Integration of Refugees. 31.08.2018 Boston, United States of America Hangartner Dominik;
American Political Science Association (APSA) Conference, Talk given at a conference The Long-Term Impact of Employment Bans on the Economic Integration of Refugees. 31.08.2017 San Francisco, United States of America Marbach Moritz; Hangartner Dominik;
American Political Science Association (APSA) Conference, Talk given at a conference When Lives are Put on Hold: Lengthy Asylum Processes Decrease Employment among Refugees. 03.09.2016 Philadelphia, United States of America Hangartner Dominik;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
IOM Data Strategy Advisory Group Talk 08.10.2019 Geneva, Switzerland Hangartner Dominik;
UNHCR Reference Group for GCR Strategy Talk 16.05.2019 Geneva, Switzerland Hangartner Dominik;
Asylsymposium Talk 30.01.2018 Bern, Switzerland Kurer Selina; Hangartner Dominik;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Redesigning the Asylum Process Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland 2019

Awards

Title Year
National Latsis Prize 2019

Abstract

Switzerland, like the rest of Europe, faces a growing and urgent refugee crisis. As more and more people flee to Europe, the refugee receiving countries are faced with a fundamental challenge: how best to integrate the massive number of asylum seekers who have been or will be granted some form of refugee status and often remain in the country for good. Although European countries will not be able to stop the wave of refugees, they can develop and implement policies that facilitate their rapid and effective integration. Because researchers have not systematically studied the causal impacts of asylum and refugee policies on refugee integration, we know distressingly little about what works and what does not when it comes to enhancing the integration of refugees through better policies. Subsequently, policymakers across Europe have no concrete evidence to make informed decisions about redesigning the asylum process.Our proposed research will start addressing this gap and provide the first comprehensive assessment of how key policy parameters of the asylum process affect the integration of asylum seekers who have been granted some form of refugee or refugee-like status in Switzerland. We will investigate the impact of wait times, regulations while waiting (e.g., labor market restrictions and welfare support) and the impact of targeted cantonal refugee integration programs. By merging high quality register panel data from different administrative sources and applying various quasi-experimental research designs, we are able to quantify the short and long-term causal effects of these core policies on a wide range of important integration outcomes including unemployment, income, permanent residency permits, intermarriage, and naturalization and also assess how the effects of these policy parameters vary across different groups of refugees.We have conducted an extensive pilot study on asylum decision wait times which underscores the feasibility of our approach and demonstrates that even small administrative changes to reduce the wait times of the asylum decision can have a significant impact on improving the economic integration of refugees with temporary protection, and as a result reduce the fiscal burden on government and ultimately taxpayers. Building off this preliminary research, we can generate actionable knowledge regarding the asylum process using an economical and robust research approach that will help place Switzerland at the forefront of asylum and refugee research, and position Switzerland to most effectively respond to the refugee crisis by understanding the policy conditions which help or hurt refugees to become integrated and productive members of the Swiss community. The lessons from the Swiss case will provide invaluable insights into the impact of the asylum process that will be informative for policymakers across Europe.Importantly, this research project is shovel-ready. Our research team has the scientific track record, methodological skills, and substantive expertise to unearth the causal effect of asylum procedures from the comprehensive and high quality Swiss register data, we have secured the official support of the State Secretariat for Migration to assure efficient and ethical collection of this administrative data, and all we lack is the financial support of the Swiss National Science Foundation to implement this innovative and timely research. We are confident that the policy implications of our findings have immediate and practical impact on the (re-)design of asylum policies in Switzerland and Europe more generally.
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