Refugee Inflow and Labor Market Outcomes in Brazil: Evidence from the Venezuelan Exodus

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The impact of a large influx of refugees (or migrants) on the local labor market has long been an important topic among economists. In this study, we investigate the economic impact of the Venezuelan migrant inflow on labor market outcomes in Brazil. We employ the synthetic control method to exploit the concentration of a large inflow of Venezuelans in the Brazilian state of Roraima, which shares a land border with Venezuela. Results indicate that the inflow of Venezuelan refugees lowered labor force participation and employment rate but did not have a significant impact on hourly wages in Brazil. Our estimates show that labor force participation among less educated individuals decreased by a larger magnitude, while females lost jobs in informal and self-employed sectors. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the short-term economic consequences of hosting refugees in developing countries.