January 2018

IZA DP No. 11301: Job Market Outcomes of IDPs: The Case of Georgia

Forthcoming in: Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018

Internally displaced people (IDPs) constitute a serious economic, social and cultural problem for many countries, including countries in transition. Despite the importance of the problem, there are only a handful of previous studies investigating the issue of labor market outcomes of IDPs. We aim to fill this gap in the literature using 13 years of Integrated Household Surveys over 2004-2016 from Georgia, which experienced large flows of internal migrants from the early 1990s until now. Our analyses indicate that the labor market outcomes of IDPs are much worse than those of local residents. Specifically, IDPs are 3.9 to 11.2 percentage points less likely to be in the labor force, depending on the period and duration of IDP status. IDPs are also up to 11.6 percentage points more likely to be unemployed, sometimes even after 20 years of forced displacement. Finally, IDPs residing in a locality for more than 5 years receive persistently lower wages than local residents with similar characteristics, with the gap widening over time, reaching some 16 percentage points in the last period under analysis.