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Winners and Losers among a Refugee-Hosting Population

Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS), KU Leuven, and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)ECARES, Centre Emile Bernheim and Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université libre de Bruxelles

The impact of a sudden, mass influx of forced migrants on the hosting economy is understudied and not well understood. Using a household panel data set for the Kagera region in Tanzania, we test the impact of the mass refugee presence on the welfare of the local population. Our identification strategy exploits variations in the timing of arrival as well as the spatial distribution of Rwandese and Burundi refugees. We find a positive and aggregate effect, but households are affected differently depending on their main initial occupation.