Who Hosts? The Correlates of Hosting the Internally Displaced

Hicn Wp 411 (1)

Tens of millions of individuals are displaced due to violence, and most are hosted by other households in their home countries. We ask what motivates people to host the forcibly displaced. We are interested in whether empathy increases the willingness to host but also consider alternative explanations. To explore the correlates of hosting we collected survey data from 1,504 households in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, fielded in-depth interviews, and implemented an experiment. We employ a novel strategy to measure hosting behavior, where household characteristics are measured prior to the arrival of displaced persons. We find that households with higher empathy are more likely to host in the ten-month period following the survey. There is no evidence that ethnicity, religiosity or wealth affect hosting behavior. Results from the experiment suggest that it is difficult to increase hosting propensity in the longer term (4+ months) through simple interventions.

JEL Classification: C83, C93, D74, O15

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