The Impact of Forced Migration on Social Status

  • DATE / TIME:
    2013•03•20    12:15 - 13:15

    Joint UNU-MERIT/School of Governance Seminar: “Forced Up or Down? The Impact of Forced Migration on Social Status”

    Speaker Carlos Vargas-Silva will introduce a paper that uses a unique dataset on Burundian refugee returnees to ascertain returnees’ perceptions of the overall impact of forced migration (including displacement and return) on community and household-level social status.

    Particular attention is placed on the role of gender and length of migration as factors that influence the impact of migration on social status. Community level differences in exposure to violence during the last period of major conflict in Burundi are exploited to address potential issues of endogeneity.

    After controlling for other relevant factors, gender does not seem to play a major role concerning the impact of forced migration on alienation from the community or the position of the returnee in the household. On the other hand, women are less likely to perceive that migration has improved their social status in Burundi, increase their ability to contribute to the community, or given them more decision-making power within the household. Results also suggest that those returnees who spent longer periods of time abroad have a greater tendency to perceive the forced migration process as having a positive impact on their social status in Burundi.

    For more information, see the Calendar of upcoming events on the UNU-MERIT website.

    About the speaker

    Carlos Vargas-Silva is Senior Researcher, Migration Observatory, at the Centre on Migration, Policy, & Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford.