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Unwelcome Guests? The Effects of Refugees on the Educational Outcomes of Incumbent Students (WP-17-12)

David Figlio and Umut Özek

The world is experiencing the second largest refugee crisis in a century, and one of the major points of contention involves the possible adverse effects of incoming refugees on host communities. The researchers examine the effects of a large refugee influx into Florida public schools following the Haitian earthquake of 2010 using unique matched birth and schooling records. They find precise zero estimated effects of refugees on the educational outcomes of incumbent students in the year of the earthquake or in the two years that follow, regardless of the socioeconomic status, grade level, ethnicity, or birthplace of incumbent students. 

David Figlio, Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

Umut Özek, Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research

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