Contributors or competitors? Complexity and variability of refugees’ economic ‘impacts’ within a Kenyan host community
Keywords:youth, migration, capabilities, aspirations, Georgia, Moldova
Drawing upon in-depth qualitative research with refugees and host populations in Kenya, this article offers a diverging viewpoint towards refugees’ economic impacts within a hosting area and sheds light on the complexity and variability of such impacts perceived by different members of a host community. Due to the unprecedented numbers of refugees worldwide, assessing the impacts of hosting refugees is currently a ‘hot topic’ in the international community. However, the primary complication for studies that attempt to measure economic impacts are the complex patterns of economic interactions that refugees have with host communities. This means that refugees’ economic impacts may be viewed, experienced and distributed unequally amongst the members of receiving society. Through a case-study in Nairobi’s outskirts, this article demonstrates different patterns of engagement between refugees and the local population in the context of a labour market, and reveals contrasting views towards refugees’ economic impacts within the host community.
Alix-Garcia, J. and Saah. D. (2009) "The Effect of Refugee Inflows on Host Country Populations: Evidence from Tanzania", World Bank Economic Review 24(1):148-170.
Baez, J.E. (2011) "Civil Wars beyond Their Borders: The Human Capital and Health Consequences of Hosting Refugees", Journal of Development Economics 96 (2): 391–408.
Betts, A. (2004) "International Cooperation and the Targeting of Development Assistance for Durable Solutions: Lessons From the 1980s", Geneva, UNHCR.
Chambers, R. (1986) "'Hidden Losers? The Impact of Rural Refugees and Refugee Programs on Poorer Hosts", International Migration Review 20(2): 245-263. https://doi.org/10.1177/019791838602000207
Czaika, M. (2005) "A Refugee Burden Index: methodology and its application", Migration Letters 2(2): 101-125.
Esen.O & Binatli, A.O. (2017) "The Impact of Syrian Refugees on the Turkish Economy: Regional Labour Market Effects", Social sciences, 6(4): 129. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6040129
Jacobsen, K. (1997) "Refugees' Environmental Impact: The Effect of Patterns of Settlement", Journal of Refugee Studies 10(1): 19-36. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/10.1.19
Jacobsen, K. (2002) "Can refugees benefit the state? Refugee resources and African statebuilding", Journal of Modern African Studies 40 (4): 577-596. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X02004081
Kirui, P and Mwaruvie, J. (2012) "The Dilemma of Hosting Refugees: A Focus on the Insecurity in North-Eastern Kenya", International Journal of Business and Social Science 3 (8): 161-171.
Landau, L. (2003) "Beyond the Losers: Transforming Governmental Practice in Refugee-Affected Tanzania", Journal of Refugee Studies, 16 (1):19-43. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/16.1.19
Lindley, A. (2011) "Between a protracted and a crisis situation: policy responses to Somali refugees in Kenya", Refugee Survey Quarterly, 30(4): 14-49. https://doi.org/10.1093/rsq/hdr013
Maystadt, J.F & Verwimp, P. (2014) "Winners and losers among a refugee-hosting population", Economic Development and Cultural Change, 62(4): 769-809. https://doi.org/10.1086/676458
Ngunjiri, J. (2017) Police in Kitengela arrest Congolese over man's stabbing, Daily Nations, Available at https://www.nation.co.ke/counties/kajiado/Congolese-stab-man-Kitengela/3444852-3866638-49p48oz/index.html
Omata, N. and Weaver, N. (2014) "Assessing Economic Impacts of Hosting Refugees: Conceptual, Methodological and Ethical Gaps", RSC Working Paper Series 111, Refugee Studies Centre: Oxford
Rodgers, C. (2017) Recognizing the Economic Winners and Losers of Hosting Refugees, Refugee Deeply, Available at https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2017/ 12/27/recognizing-the-economic-winners-and-losers-of-hosting-refugees
Ruiz, I. and Vargas-Silva, C. (2013) "The Economics of Forced Migration", The Journal of Development Studies 49 (6):772-784. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2013.777707
Sood, A. and Seferis, L. (2014) "Syrians contributing to Kurdish economic growth", Forced Migration Review 47
Strang, A., and A. Ager (2010) "Refugee Integration: emerging trends and remaining agendas", Journal of Refugee Studies 23 (4):589-607. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feq046
Taylor, E.J., Filipski, M.J., Alloush, M., Gupta, A., Valdes, R.I.R and Gonzalez-Estrada, E. (2016) "Economic impact of refugees", PNAS, 113 (27) 7449-7453. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1604566113
Türk, V. and Garlick, M. (2016) "From Burdens and Responsibilities to Opportunities: The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework and a Global Compact on Refugees", International Journal of Refugee Law, 28(4): 656–678. https://doi.org/10.1093/ijrl/eew043
UNHCR (2017) Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2016, Geneva: UNHCR
Whitaker, B.E. (2002) "Refugees in Western Tanzania: The Distribution of Burdens and Benefits Among Local Hosts", Journal of Refugee Studies 15 (4): 339-358. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/15.4.339
Zetter, R., Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E., Ruiz, I., and Vargas-Silva, C., (2012) Assessing the impacts and costs of forced displacement: a mixed methods approach (volume I), World Bank, Washington D.C.
Zetter, R., Ruaduel, H., Deardorff-Miller, S., Lyytinen, F., Thibos, C., and Pederson, F.S. (2014) 'The Syrian displacement crisis and a Regional Development and Protection Programme: Mapping and meta-analysis of existing studies of costs, impacts and protection', Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Copenhagen
How to Cite
Copyright © 2020 Transnational Press London