AØKK08421U Seminar: Forced Displacement and Economic Development

Volume 2021/2022

MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics


Forcibly displaced populations and their hosts have received little attention in applied development economics. The main reason for this gap is lack of household survey data. In recent years more household survey data sampling forcibly displaced and their hosts has been collected, enabling the production of original evidence on the socio-economic conditions on these populations, a key element needed for efficient programming of inclusion and protection policies of refugees, internally displaced and host communities.

The class will offer a broad overview of the state of the knowledge on forced displacement and economic displacement in low and middle-income countries and direct students to newly available household survey data for these populations. In their class papers, students will be expected to produce empirical evidence using this data and a topic of their choice.

Suggested topics could include: Gender gaps among forcibly displaced populations; the determinants of access to labor markets for refugees in low and middle income countries; the constraints to financial inclusion for the forcibly displaced in poor settings.

Learning Outcome

After completing the seminar the student is expected to be able to fulfill the learning outcome specified in the Master curriculum and to be able to:

- Knowledge: Students are expected to learn about the economic drivers and implications of forced displacement in low and middle-income countries

- Skills: Students will develop skills related to applied micro-econometrics, including data analytics using statistical packages such as Stata or R.

- Competences: Research oriented thinking (defining research question, specifying a statistical model, read and interpret estimates from the model

Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). 2020. “A great and sudden change: the global political violence landscape before and after the covid-19 pandemic” Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) © 2020. All rights reserved.

Belal, Fallah; Krafft, Caroline ; Wahba, Jackline. 2019. “The impact of refugees on employment and wages in Jordan” Journal of development economics, 2019-06, Vol.139, p.203-216

Blair, Christopher; Guy Grossman and Jeremy M. Weinstein. 2020. “Forced Displacement and Asylum Policy in the Developing World” Mimeo.

Card, David. 1990. “The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Jan., 1990, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jan., 1990), pp. 245-257.

Cohen-Goldner, Sarit; Paserman, Daniele M. 2011. “The dynamic impact of immigration on natives' labor market outcomes: Evidence from Israel”. European Economic Review, 2011, Vol.55 (8), p.1027-1045

Corral, Paul; Irwin, Alexander; Krishnan, Nandini; Mahler, Daniel Gerszon; Vishwanath, Tara. 2020. “Fragility and Conflict : On the Front Lines of the Fight against Poverty.” Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

Dempster, Helen, Thomas Ginn, Jimmy Graham, M. Guerrero Ble, D. Jaysainghe, and Barri Shorey. 2020. “Locked Down and Left Behind: The Impact of COVID-19 on Refugees’ Economic Inclusion.” Center for Global Development, Refugees International, and International Rescue Committee.

Foged, Mette and Giovanni Peri. 2015. “Immigrants’ Effect on Native Workers: New Analysis on Longitudinal Data” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2015, 8(2): 1–34

Genoni, Maria Eugenia; Khan, Afsana Iffat; Krishnan, Nandini; Palaniswamy, Nethra; Raza, Wameq. 2020. “Losing Livelihoods : The Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19 in Bangladesh.”  World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

Goldstein, Judith L., and Margaret E. Peters. “Nativism or economic threat: Attitudes toward immigrants during the great recession.” International Interactions 40, no. 3 (2014): 376-401.

International Rescue Committee (IRC). 2014. “An Impact Evaluation of the 2013-2014 Winter Cash Assistance Program for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon.” August 2020.

Krishnan, Nandini; Russo Riva, Flavio; Sharma, Dhiraj; Vishwanath, Tara. 2020. “The Lives and Livelihoods of Syrian Refugees in the Middle East: Evidence from the 2015-16 Surveys of Syrian Refugees and Host Communities in Jordan, Lebanon, and Kurdistan, Iraq.” Policy Research Working Paper; No. 9327. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

Krishnan, Nandini; Russo Riva, Flavio; Sharma, Dhiraj; Vishwanath, Tara. 2020b. “Coping with the influx. Service Delivery to Syrian Refugees and Hosts in Jordan, Lebanon, and Kurdistan, Iraq.” Policy Research Working Paper; No. 9326 . World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO

Lopez-Pena, Paula, C. Austin Davis, A. Mushfiq Mobarak, and Shabib Raihan. "Prevalence of COVID-19 symptoms, risk factors, and health behaviors in host and refugee communities in Cox’s Bazar: A representative panel study." Bull World Health Organ (2020).

Marbach, Moritz; Hainmueller, Jens and Hangartner, Dominik. 2018. “The long-term impact of employment bans on the economic integration of refugees”. Science Advances. Sep 2018: Vol. 4, no. 9, eaap9519. DOI: 10.1126/​sciadv.aap9519 

Masterson, Daniel and M. Christian Lehmann. 2019. “Refugees, Mobilization, and Humanitarian Aid: Evidence from the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 64 (5): 817-843

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). 2020. “Downward Spiral: the economic impact of Covid-19 on refugees and displaced people.” Sep. 2020.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 2020. “The impact of coronavirus (covid-19) on forcibly displaced persons in developing countries.” © OECD 2020

Olivieri, Sergio; Ortega, Francesc; Rivadeneira, Ana; Carranza, Eliana. 2020. “Shoring Up Economic Refugees : Venezuelan Migrants in the Ecuadoran Labor Market.” Policy Research Working Paper, No. 9332. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO

Truelove S, Abrahim O, Altare C, Lauer SA, Grantz KH, Azman AS, et al., 2020. “The potential impact of COVID-19 in refugee camps in Bangladesh and beyond:  A modeling study.” PLoS Med 17(6): e1003144.

Tumen, Semih. 2016. “The Economic Impact of Syrian Refugees on Host Countries: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Turkey” The American economic review, 2016-05, Vol.106 (5), p.456-460

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 2020a. “Sahel Crisis Responding to the urgent needs of refugees, internally displaced, returnees and others of concern.” June 2020.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 2020b. “COVID-19 and refugees.” October 2020.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 2020c. “Coming together for refugee education”

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 2020. “Global Humanitarian Response Plan. COVID-19. Key facts & Figures, August 2020”

Verme, Paolo. 2016. “The Economics of Forced Displacement: An Introduction.” Region and Development 44: 141–63.

William N. Evans and Daniel Fitzgerald. “The Economic Success of Refugees in the US: Evidence from the ACS.” NBER Working Paper # 23498. June 2017.

World Bank. 2020a. “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020 : Reversals of Fortune.” Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

World Bank. 2020c. “Lebanon Economic Monitor Fall 2020: The Deliberate Depression.” Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank.

Ratha, Dilip, Supriyo De, Eung Ju Kim, Sonia Plaza, Ganesh Seshan, and Nadege Desiree Yameogo. 2020. “Migration and Development Brief 33: Phase II: COVID-19 Crisis through a Migration Lens.” KNOMAD-World Bank, Washington, DC. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO

World Bank (2018). “Informing Durable Solutions by Micro-Data: A Skills Survey for Refugees in Ethiopia”

World Bank. 2019. “Informing the Refugee Policy Response in Uganda : Results from the Uganda Refugee and Host Communities 2018 Household Survey.” Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group.

World Food Program (WFP). 2020b. “UNHCR and WFP warn refugees in Africa face hunger and malnutrition as COVID-19 worsens food shortages.” July 2020.

BSc in Economics or similar
TStata or R basic coding skills.
Applied microeconomics.
At the seminar the student is trained independently to
- identify and clarify a problem,
- seek and select relevant literatur,
- write a academic paper,
- present and discuss own paper with the other students at the seminar.

Mandatory activities in the seminar:
- Kick-off meeting
- Finding literatur and defining the project
- Writing process of the seminar paper
- Presentation of own project and paper
- Giving constructive feedback to another student´s paper
- Actively participating in discussions at the presentations and other meetings.

The aim of the presentations is, that you use the presentation as an opportunity to practice oral skills and to receive feedback at the paper. The presentations are not a part of the exam and will not be assessed.

The seminar project paper must be uploaded in Absalon before the presentations, as the opponents and the other seminar participants have to read and comment on the paper. It is important that you upload a paper that is so finalized as possible due to the fact that the value of feedback and comments at the presentation is strongly associated with the skill level of the seminar paper.
The teacher defines what materials may be used for the presentations.

After the presentations, you can with a few corrections improve the seminar paper by including the feedback and comments emerged during the presentations. It is NOT intended that you rewrite or begin the writing of the seminar paper after the presentation has taken place.

In case of a pandemic like Corona the teaching in this seminar may be changed to be taught either fully or partly online. For further information, see the course room on Absalon.
Schedule Fall 2021:

- Kick-off meeting:
September 6th - 8.15-10.00am.

- Extra meetings / introductory teaching / guidance:
September 13th - 8.15-10.00am.
September 20th - 8.15-10.00am.

- Deadline for submission of commitment paper / project description:
No later than 1 October. By October 1st close of business.

- Deadline for uploading a seminar assignment paper in Absalon:
Thursday November 11th - 8.15-10.00am.

- Presentations:
Friday November 19th - 8.15-10.00am.

- Exam date:
1 December at 10.00 (am) - latest uploading of Seminar paper to the Digital Exam portal for assessment.

All information regarding the seminar is communicated through Absalon including venue. So it is very important that you by yourself logon to Absalon and read the information already when you are registered at the seminar.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Project work
  • 186
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Students will receive feedback on their class paper and presentation. Written feedback on the paper toward peer-review journals standards and research ideas for further work in the perspective of engaging in a PhD program. On the presentation, the oral feedback will include advice on rhetoric and presentation technics for participation in future research seminar and conferences.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
A seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum and at KUNet for seminars.
Exam registration requirements

Attendance in all  activities at the seminar as stated in the formal requrements in the Curriculum  and at the KUnet for Seminars (UK)  and  Seminars (DK)  is required to participate in the exam.


All aids allowed

for the seminar paper.

The teacher defines the aids that must be used for the presentations.


Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Regular exam:

Spring 2021:
Deadline for submitting the final seminar paper: December 1, 2021 before 10 AM

Exam information:

The seminar paper must be uploaded to the Digital Exam. More information will be available from the middle of the semester.


More information about examination, rules, aids etc. at Master (UK) and Master (DK ).



Reexam information:

The reexam is a written seminar paper as stated in the Curriculum.

Deadline and more information is available at Seminars(UK) and Seminars(DK).

More information about reexam etc is available at Master(UK)andMaster(DK).

Criteria for exam assesment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the seminar and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes in the Curriculum of the Master programme.


To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material.