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IFS-STICERD Public Economics Seminar

Firms, Informality and the Spatial Effects of Labor Market Shocks: Evidence from the Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Gabriel Ulyssea (Oxford)

Wednesday 27 October 2021 12:30 - 13:45

IFS, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars or as online and in person. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, current restrictions mean in-person seminars are only open to members of the LSE community (those with a valid LSE ID card).

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom.

About this event

This paper develops a new framework to analyse the effects of labor market shocks in developing economies and their distribution across space. It incorporates some of the key features of these countries, in particular the presence of substantial regional disparities, poor enforcement of laws and regulations and high informality. We focus our empirical analysis on Turkey, which has received around 4 million Syrian refugees and is the largest host country in the world. We develop and estimate a quantitative spatial model where low- and high-skill workers can choose where to live/work and firms within each region can choose to operate in the formal or informal sectors and, if formal, whether to hire their workers formally or not. We use the estimated model to quantify the effects of the "refugee shock" on workers, firms and key aggregate outcomes (e.g. TFP and output) across regions and the country as a whole. We show that informality increases among low-skill but decreases among high-skill workers and the skill premium increases. Informality effects are stronger in regions where the national minimum wage is more binding and enforcement is weaker. The main receiving regions experience the largest effects but the shock spreads to all regions via migration of native workers.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS and STICERD.

IFS-STICERD Public Economics seminars are held on Wednesdays in term time at 16:30-17:30 ONLINE or at 12.30-12.45 IN PERSON at the IFS.

Seminar organisers: Stuart Adam (IFS), Monica Costa Dias (IFS), Xavier Jaravel (LSE), Camille Landais (LSE), Attila Lindner (UCL), Joana Naritomi (LSE), and Johannes Spinnewijn (LSE).

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email:

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This event will take place in IFS, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE.