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IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

Financial Security, Climate Shocks, Social Cohesion

Sandra Sequeira (LSE)

Thursday 20 June 2024 13:00 - 14:00

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

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

This paper investigates the link between financial security and social cohesion in a setting in which cohesion is key: the integration of refugees into ultra-poor host communities in the developing world. We exogenously vary the financial security of hosts and refugees by implementing a field experiment of a large cash transfer and employment support program. Increased financial security of both refugees and hosts led to higher levels of trust, new friendships with out-groups, a greater willingness to share resources with out-groups and a stronger sense of belonging for refugees (our overall social integration measure increased by 0.37 standard deviations relative to the control group). Two years later, the study area was affected by a category three tropical cyclone that caused damage to some houses and crops. Consistent with a causal interpretation of the relationship between financial security and social cohesion, participants who experienced even a moderate reduction in their financial security reported a disproportionately large weakening of social cohesion (by 0.25 standard deviations). Taken together, these findings suggest that expanding the scope of social protection to include both refugees and low-income host community members can promote socioeconomic integration. However, these gains are fragile and easily undone when individuals are affected by unexpected negative climate shocks.

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

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 13:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Britta Augsburg:

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