Welfare Impact of Hosting Refugees in Ethiopia

Year: 2020 HiCN Working Paper No. 341

Abstract: This paper examines the welfare impact of hosting refugees in Ethiopia, one of the largest refugee-hosting countries worldwide. The findings reveal different implications depending on the type of household welfare metric. While reducing consumption expenditure per capita and increasing the probability of falling into consumption poverty, it has no effect on wealth and the status of wealth poverty. Decomposing consumption expenditure per capita into food, education, and other non-food components, the results further reveal that it alters the composition of consumption, as it solely affects food consumption expenditure. The consumption effects prevail in rural areas with no effects in urban centers while no heterogeneity is found concerning wealth and wealth poverty results. Key mechanisms explaining the adverse consumption effects include displacement of hosts from salaried employment and a spike in prices of agricultural inputs but not changes in the extent of societal cooperation.