Forced migration and local economic development: evidence from postwar Hungary

Daniel Borbely*, Ross Mckenzie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper

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We investigate the persistent effects of forced migration on sending economies using the postWW2 expulsion of German minorities from Hungary as a natural experiment. We combine historical and contemporary data sources to show that, while towns heavily affected by the expulsions were quite similar to other areas in terms of economic activity and labour market composition before the war, the forced migrations led to lasting reductions in economic activity, and an increasing reliance on agricultural labour. We further show long-term negative correlations between forced migration and local trust levels, suggesting that the expulsion of Germans also affected the local social fabric. Our analysis reveals that forced migration can cause lasting regional inequalities in sending economies.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages67
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


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