Job Market Paper: The social determinants of refugee integration and optimal placement: a study in Denmark

Using data from refugees resettled quasi-randomly to municipalities in Denmark, I study the impact of enclave characteristics and details of the placement regime on labor market outcomes for refugees up to 12 years after seeking asylum. I find that ethnic enclave size upon arrival has a negative effect on refugee employment while larger enclaves later on are beneficial. I also investigate the effect of the timing of the settlement of other refugees and find that refugees placed in the same year or in consecutive years in an enclave compete, lowering each other’s probability of employment. On the other hand, refugees placed farther apart are beneficial. Based on this model, I characterize the employment-maximizing refugee settlement plan. I show that under optimal distribution of refugees over time and municipalities, employment for the refugees placed during the spatial dispersal policy would have been 10.1% higher, with most of the increase concentrated in municipalities that received more refugees.

Work in progress: Employment and recidivism: an analysis using Ban the Box

Using an instrumented difference-in-differences strategy, I estimate the causal effects of concealing criminal history on employment and of employment on reoffending for people who have previously been convicted of crimes. I use data from the US federal probation and parole system and exploit variation in the timing and location of "Ban the Box" policies as an instrument for employment status. I find that Ban the Box increases the employment of individuals under federal supervision by 3 percentage points and that a one year increase in employment reduces the probability of arrest by 9 percentage points.