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The integration of Bosnian refugees: An encouraging story that provides lessons for the current migration crisis

20.02.2017

Excerpt from the Article

The migration crisis has posed a number of challenges for European countries, but what lessons can be learned from previous experiences with large scale migration? Mikkel Barslund, Matthias Busse, Karolien Lenaerts, Lars Ludolph and Vilde Renman present evidence from a study of the integration of Bosnian refugees in Europe following the Balkan wars in the 1990s. They find that with the right integration policies and labour market conditions, it is possible to achieve a high level of integration among refugees within a short period of time.

[...] However, for three of the four countries the process of integration seems to have been completed within one generation. This is rather fast and it is well worth exploring further the determinants of these positive outcomes, particularly because such a catch-up is not found for other immigrant groups. One important factor in explaining this catch-up could well be the fact that Bosnians were generally better educated than other refugees. There is some evidence from Germany that the same is the case for the recent Syrian refugees. [...]

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