The integration of refugees into host countries’ formal labor markets is increasingly recommended as a durable solution to forced migration. Yet, this policy response is a contentious political topic with little empirical evidence, especially in low- and middle-income host countries available to support policy. This article examines the impacts of integrating Syrian refugees into Jordan’s formal labor market. We use robust greedy one-to-one propensity score matching on comprehensive high-quality data from almost 75,000 Syrian refugee households collected between 2017 and 2019 to generate novel evidence on the socio-economic benefits of refugee labor market integration. Our findings show that the ability to access formal jobs, reflected by holding a work permit, is significantly associated with increased refugee income, strengthens food security, and reduces protection needs and child labor. These findings contribute to a better and knowledge-based understanding of a prominent policy response for forced migrants.
- Year of Publication: 2023
- Region/s: Middle East & North Africa
- Theme/s: Capacity Building · Human Development · Humanitarian Emergencies
- Research Topic/s: Employment · Food Security & Nutrition · Institutions & Fragility · Poverty & Inequality · Youth & Children
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fead064
Laura Peitz, Ghassan Baliki, Neil T N Ferguson, Tilman Brück, Do Work Permits Work? The Impacts of Formal Labor Market Integration of Syrian Refugees in Jordan, Journal of Refugee Studies, 2023;, fead064, https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fead064