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Making Hard Choices
An Analysis of Settlement Choices and Willingness to Return
of Syrian Refugees
Mehmet Balcılara
and Fuat Oktayb
IDRC Davos 2016, 28 August - 1 September, Davos, Swittzerland
a
Eastern Mediterranean University,Famagusta, T.R. Northern Cyprus; University of Pretoria, Preto-
ria, South Africa; IPAG Business School, Paris, France
b
Repuclic of Turkey, Prime Ministry, and Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (former),
Ankara, Turkey
Outline
1. Background
2. Hard Choices for Refugees and Politicians
3. Motivation
4. Contribution
5. Population and Sampling Design
6. Models
7. Demographics & War Impacts
Demographics
War Impacts
8. Empirical Results
9. Conclusion
1
Background
Forced Migration
Largest Crises since WW II
• highest levels of forced displacement since World War II
• more than 60 million people are forcibly displaced
• Reasons: violence, war and civil war, human rights violations, and
genocide
• Top Five Refugee Outflow Countries: Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia,
Sudan, and South Sudan
• 4.84 million Syrians are registered as refugees outside Syria (July
2016).
• a toll on millions of lives
• around half million died, and
• more than half of the country’s population is displaced
2
Syrian Refugee Crises
• Millions refuged to Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Egypt
• Turkey hosts 2.74 million refugees (July 2016)
• Devastating effects not only for Syria, but also for Turkey, Lebanon,
more recently for most EU countries due to refugee inflow
• The economic cost on Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt is
estimated as $35 billion in output at the beginning of 2016 and it
will climb
• $10 billion will be needed through 2020 for the financing needs of
Syrian crises
3
Hard Choices for Refugees and
Politicians
Re-migration
• Starting in 2014, a large number of Syrian asylum seekers in Turkey
re-migrated to EU countries
• Migration routes: Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea on boats, at
face of a high risk of dying due to boat sinks
• Approximately 2% of the those attempting to migrate to Europe
from Turkey die by drowning
• Yet, the thousands attempt to migrate through this dangerous way
every day.
4
Hard Choices
” ... it is only in face to
face meetings with people
seeking asylum and with
refugees that it is possible
to comprehend the
subtlety of these stories
and the huge range of
emotions behind them;
anger, fear, anxiety,
jubilation, hope, guilt and
mistrust are just a few of
the more obvious ones.
–Alison Jeffers, Refugees, Theatre and Crisis:
Performing Global Identities, 2012.
5
Hard Choices
Hard Choices for Refugee
• Stay in the initial migration location, but living conditions are harsh
• Re-migrate to west, but costly, risky, likelihood of deport
• Return, but not safe, no place to live, may not even able to run the
kitchen
Hard Choices for Politicians
• Political solution has trade offs for all parties
• Refugee size ise to big for everybody
• Financing gap is large
6
Motivation
Motivation-I
• Existing literature on conflict-driven or forced migration offers only
limited knowledge on hard choices facing Syrian refugees
• Further migration intentions
• Return to homeland
• Stay in their present location
• Migrate to alternative locations (within the same country)
• These choices are likely to be affected by the physical and
non-physical damage caused by the conflict, living conditions of
refugees, and demographic and social-economic characteristics of the
refugees.
• Not much is known on these, which requires individual level data
7
Motivation-II
• Most of the literature on forced migration is based on aggregate
(mostly state- level) data (large-n studied)
• Large-n studies uses state level data
• Economic factors: gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, GDP
growth rate, unemployment, income distribution, economic
discrimination, energy consumption
• Geographic and environmental factors: Natural disasters, climate
change, geography, transportation, border controls, distance. etc.
• Conflict -related factors: war and civil war, internal conflicts,
genocide, civil rights, etc.
• Large-n studies draw inferences about individual decisions on
whether to migrate or stay, arguing that people can make rational
choices even under the extremely violent conditions of war
• However, the data used in these studies are not individual level data
8
Contribution
Contribution
• Uses three-wave survey data collected by AFAD in 2013, 2014, and
2015
• Unique data, capturing more detail on the various different
dimensions of the violence experienced in Syria and the effects of
these and other factors on their plans for further migration
• Considers migration, re-migration, re-location, and return decisions
• Capture a great deal in the way of heterogeneity among different
groups of Syrian refugees
• Obtains significant information on who, when, where and why moves
9
Population and Sampling Design
Geography
10
Population & Sampling Design-I
• Population: Syrian refugees in Turkey.
• Design: Multistage random sampling.
• Survey Waves: Wave 1 (2013), Wave 2 (2014), Wave 3 (2015), all
conducted by AFAD.1
.
Geographic Distribution of the Sample by Wave and Province
11
Population & Sampling Design-II
Geographic Distribution of the Sample
12
Population by Time and Settlement Type
13
Models
Research Questions: Refugee Migration Choices
1. RETURN: What determines the intention to return to homeland.
Variable: takes a value of 1, if the respondents stated they would
return to Syria, 0 otherwise.
2. MIGRATE: Indicator of migrating to another location. Variable:
takes a value of 1 if the respondent stated he (she) is planning to
migrate, and a value of 0, otherwise.
3. RTNASAP: Return to the home country “as soon as possible”.
Variable: takes a value 1, if the respondents state they will return to
Syria “as soon as possible”, and 0 otherwise.
4. MIGRATEINT. Indicator of re-migration. Variable: takes a value of
1, if the respondents stated they are planning to migrate to another
country, and a 0 otherwise.
14
Individual Level Explanatory Variables-I
1. INCOME: Household income (INCOME) while living in Syria before
migrating to Turkey, measured in Syrian pounds and classified into 6
classes, 0-10000, 10001-20000, 20001-30000, 30001-40000,
40001-50000, and 50001+.
2. SHELTER: A binary variable, taking a value of 1 if the respondents
state availability of shelter in the home country, and 0 if the shelter
is not available.
3. DAMAGE: Measures property damage, takes a value of 1 if the
refugee stated his(her) home to be “collapsed”, “heavily damaged”,
or “partially damaged”; takes on a value of 0, if the refugee stated
his home is “not damaged”.
15
Individual Level Explanatory Variables-II
4. DEATH: Existence of deaths of the family members, takes a value of
1, if the respondents stated one or more families died due to war,
and a value of 0, if no family member died.
5. RFGTIME: Time lived as a refugee in the current host country
(Turkey), defined as 1-12 months, 13-24 months, 25-36 months,
35-48 months, and 49-60 months.
6. RFGMONTHS: Number of months lived as refugee, used when it
gives a better fit than RFGTIME in terms of the Bayesian
Information Criterion.
16
Demographics & War Impacts
Distribution by Home Governorate & Sex
17
Geographic Distribution by Home Governorate
18
Time Lived as Refugee
19
Month of Leaving Syria by Governorate
20
Verified War Casualties by Month
21
Verified War Casualties by Governorate
22
Damage to Property
23
Empirical Results
Empirical Models
Logistic regression for response yi :
Pr(yi = 1|Xi , β) =
exp{Xi β}
1 + exp{Xi β}
(1)
where yi is one of the response variables: RETURNi , MIGRATEi ,
RTNASAPi , or MIGRATEINTi
and
Xi β = β0 + β1INCOMEi + β2SHELTERi
+ β3DAMAGEi + β4DEATHi + β4RFGTIMEi
(2)
24
Descriptive Statistics
25
Full Model Estimates
26
Models Selected by General Specific Approach
27
Predictive Margins of Return for Time Lived As Refugee
28
Predictive Margins of International Migration for Time Passed
After Leaving Syria
29
Conclusion
Conclusion-I
• Duration of the violence in Syria increases the probability of
permanent settlement in another country.
• As the duration of the violence in Syria is increased the probability
of return to Syria is drastically reduced.
• One important determinant of decision to move from Turkey (initial
refuge location) is the duration of time lived as a refugee.
• As the cost of the conflict (measured by damage to property,
casualties to family members, job loss, etc.) increases for the
conflict-affected households, it is less likely that these refugees will
return to Syria.
• As the cost of the conflict increases, the more likely that the
refugees will move to higher income countries in search of asylum.
30
Conclusion-II
• Refugees who would not have a shelter in their home country if they
were to return home, are less likely to return to Syria and more likely
to migrate or re-migrate.
• Refugees who have deaths in their family due to war have lower
probability of return to Syria and a higher probability of international
migration.
• Women refugees are more likely to return back to Syria.
• Protraction of the conflict reduces the probability of returning to
Syria and raises the probability of re-migration.
• Higher income refugees are more likely to move to another country
from Turkey.
• There is a time threshold, which when exceeded, the refugees lose
any hope for return to Syria and search for permanent settlement
elsewhere.
31
Thank you ...
32

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Making Hard Choices An Analysis of Settlement Choices and Willingness to Return of Syrian Refugees, Mehmet BALCILAR

  • 1. Making Hard Choices An Analysis of Settlement Choices and Willingness to Return of Syrian Refugees Mehmet Balcılara and Fuat Oktayb IDRC Davos 2016, 28 August - 1 September, Davos, Swittzerland a Eastern Mediterranean University,Famagusta, T.R. Northern Cyprus; University of Pretoria, Preto- ria, South Africa; IPAG Business School, Paris, France b Repuclic of Turkey, Prime Ministry, and Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (former), Ankara, Turkey
  • 2. Outline 1. Background 2. Hard Choices for Refugees and Politicians 3. Motivation 4. Contribution 5. Population and Sampling Design 6. Models 7. Demographics & War Impacts Demographics War Impacts 8. Empirical Results 9. Conclusion 1
  • 4. Forced Migration Largest Crises since WW II • highest levels of forced displacement since World War II • more than 60 million people are forcibly displaced • Reasons: violence, war and civil war, human rights violations, and genocide • Top Five Refugee Outflow Countries: Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan • 4.84 million Syrians are registered as refugees outside Syria (July 2016). • a toll on millions of lives • around half million died, and • more than half of the country’s population is displaced 2
  • 5. Syrian Refugee Crises • Millions refuged to Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Egypt • Turkey hosts 2.74 million refugees (July 2016) • Devastating effects not only for Syria, but also for Turkey, Lebanon, more recently for most EU countries due to refugee inflow • The economic cost on Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt is estimated as $35 billion in output at the beginning of 2016 and it will climb • $10 billion will be needed through 2020 for the financing needs of Syrian crises 3
  • 6. Hard Choices for Refugees and Politicians
  • 7. Re-migration • Starting in 2014, a large number of Syrian asylum seekers in Turkey re-migrated to EU countries • Migration routes: Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea on boats, at face of a high risk of dying due to boat sinks • Approximately 2% of the those attempting to migrate to Europe from Turkey die by drowning • Yet, the thousands attempt to migrate through this dangerous way every day. 4
  • 8. Hard Choices ” ... it is only in face to face meetings with people seeking asylum and with refugees that it is possible to comprehend the subtlety of these stories and the huge range of emotions behind them; anger, fear, anxiety, jubilation, hope, guilt and mistrust are just a few of the more obvious ones. –Alison Jeffers, Refugees, Theatre and Crisis: Performing Global Identities, 2012. 5
  • 9. Hard Choices Hard Choices for Refugee • Stay in the initial migration location, but living conditions are harsh • Re-migrate to west, but costly, risky, likelihood of deport • Return, but not safe, no place to live, may not even able to run the kitchen Hard Choices for Politicians • Political solution has trade offs for all parties • Refugee size ise to big for everybody • Financing gap is large 6
  • 11. Motivation-I • Existing literature on conflict-driven or forced migration offers only limited knowledge on hard choices facing Syrian refugees • Further migration intentions • Return to homeland • Stay in their present location • Migrate to alternative locations (within the same country) • These choices are likely to be affected by the physical and non-physical damage caused by the conflict, living conditions of refugees, and demographic and social-economic characteristics of the refugees. • Not much is known on these, which requires individual level data 7
  • 12. Motivation-II • Most of the literature on forced migration is based on aggregate (mostly state- level) data (large-n studied) • Large-n studies uses state level data • Economic factors: gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, GDP growth rate, unemployment, income distribution, economic discrimination, energy consumption • Geographic and environmental factors: Natural disasters, climate change, geography, transportation, border controls, distance. etc. • Conflict -related factors: war and civil war, internal conflicts, genocide, civil rights, etc. • Large-n studies draw inferences about individual decisions on whether to migrate or stay, arguing that people can make rational choices even under the extremely violent conditions of war • However, the data used in these studies are not individual level data 8
  • 14. Contribution • Uses three-wave survey data collected by AFAD in 2013, 2014, and 2015 • Unique data, capturing more detail on the various different dimensions of the violence experienced in Syria and the effects of these and other factors on their plans for further migration • Considers migration, re-migration, re-location, and return decisions • Capture a great deal in the way of heterogeneity among different groups of Syrian refugees • Obtains significant information on who, when, where and why moves 9
  • 17. Population & Sampling Design-I • Population: Syrian refugees in Turkey. • Design: Multistage random sampling. • Survey Waves: Wave 1 (2013), Wave 2 (2014), Wave 3 (2015), all conducted by AFAD.1 . Geographic Distribution of the Sample by Wave and Province 11
  • 18. Population & Sampling Design-II Geographic Distribution of the Sample 12
  • 19. Population by Time and Settlement Type 13
  • 21. Research Questions: Refugee Migration Choices 1. RETURN: What determines the intention to return to homeland. Variable: takes a value of 1, if the respondents stated they would return to Syria, 0 otherwise. 2. MIGRATE: Indicator of migrating to another location. Variable: takes a value of 1 if the respondent stated he (she) is planning to migrate, and a value of 0, otherwise. 3. RTNASAP: Return to the home country “as soon as possible”. Variable: takes a value 1, if the respondents state they will return to Syria “as soon as possible”, and 0 otherwise. 4. MIGRATEINT. Indicator of re-migration. Variable: takes a value of 1, if the respondents stated they are planning to migrate to another country, and a 0 otherwise. 14
  • 22. Individual Level Explanatory Variables-I 1. INCOME: Household income (INCOME) while living in Syria before migrating to Turkey, measured in Syrian pounds and classified into 6 classes, 0-10000, 10001-20000, 20001-30000, 30001-40000, 40001-50000, and 50001+. 2. SHELTER: A binary variable, taking a value of 1 if the respondents state availability of shelter in the home country, and 0 if the shelter is not available. 3. DAMAGE: Measures property damage, takes a value of 1 if the refugee stated his(her) home to be “collapsed”, “heavily damaged”, or “partially damaged”; takes on a value of 0, if the refugee stated his home is “not damaged”. 15
  • 23. Individual Level Explanatory Variables-II 4. DEATH: Existence of deaths of the family members, takes a value of 1, if the respondents stated one or more families died due to war, and a value of 0, if no family member died. 5. RFGTIME: Time lived as a refugee in the current host country (Turkey), defined as 1-12 months, 13-24 months, 25-36 months, 35-48 months, and 49-60 months. 6. RFGMONTHS: Number of months lived as refugee, used when it gives a better fit than RFGTIME in terms of the Bayesian Information Criterion. 16
  • 25. Distribution by Home Governorate & Sex 17
  • 26. Geographic Distribution by Home Governorate 18
  • 27. Time Lived as Refugee 19
  • 28. Month of Leaving Syria by Governorate 20
  • 30. Verified War Casualties by Governorate 22
  • 33. Empirical Models Logistic regression for response yi : Pr(yi = 1|Xi , β) = exp{Xi β} 1 + exp{Xi β} (1) where yi is one of the response variables: RETURNi , MIGRATEi , RTNASAPi , or MIGRATEINTi and Xi β = β0 + β1INCOMEi + β2SHELTERi + β3DAMAGEi + β4DEATHi + β4RFGTIMEi (2) 24
  • 36. Models Selected by General Specific Approach 27
  • 37. Predictive Margins of Return for Time Lived As Refugee 28
  • 38. Predictive Margins of International Migration for Time Passed After Leaving Syria 29
  • 40. Conclusion-I • Duration of the violence in Syria increases the probability of permanent settlement in another country. • As the duration of the violence in Syria is increased the probability of return to Syria is drastically reduced. • One important determinant of decision to move from Turkey (initial refuge location) is the duration of time lived as a refugee. • As the cost of the conflict (measured by damage to property, casualties to family members, job loss, etc.) increases for the conflict-affected households, it is less likely that these refugees will return to Syria. • As the cost of the conflict increases, the more likely that the refugees will move to higher income countries in search of asylum. 30
  • 41. Conclusion-II • Refugees who would not have a shelter in their home country if they were to return home, are less likely to return to Syria and more likely to migrate or re-migrate. • Refugees who have deaths in their family due to war have lower probability of return to Syria and a higher probability of international migration. • Women refugees are more likely to return back to Syria. • Protraction of the conflict reduces the probability of returning to Syria and raises the probability of re-migration. • Higher income refugees are more likely to move to another country from Turkey. • There is a time threshold, which when exceeded, the refugees lose any hope for return to Syria and search for permanent settlement elsewhere. 31