Professor of Economics Paul Hagstrom and Assistant Professor of Economics Javier Pereira presented papers on their refugee project at the 87th International Atlantic Economic Conference in Athens. Both papers focus on their studies of refugees resettled to a single city (Utica, N.Y.) over a time span of 30 to 35 years.
Hagstrom presented “Refugee Secondary Migration in the United States: Evidence from Utica, New York.” He and Periera used data on the intent to migrate and the migration experience of family members to examine the impact of factors relating to classical theories of migration including spatial assimilation, segmented assimilation, and human capital.
They found that ethnic connections are important in migration decisions. “While refugee[s] value their co-ethnic bonds, the children of refugees are more likely than their parents to leave (or at least plan on leaving) their resettlement community,” the authors concluded.
Pereira presented a paper titled “What Can We Learn About Financial Inclusion From Refugees in the United States?” In order to identify refugee-specific factors that affect access to and use of financial services, he and Hagstrom analyzed a survey-based dataset to study the determinants of financial inclusion for roughly 600 refugees from more than 30 countries who currently reside in Utica.
The authors found that country of origin and religious orientation played a strong role in the use of formal savings and borrowing services. “Some interesting features emerge such as the role of time in the host country, portion of friends in the same ethnic group and religiosity,” they said.