Refugee or Internally Displaced Person? To Where Should One Flee? (Working Paper #65)

Will H. Moore, Florida State University

Stephen M. Shellman, Florida State University

Abstract: This study begins with the observation that while we have a reasonable understanding of the circumstances that lead countries to produce forced migration flows, scholars have yet to investigate the circumstances the lead some countries to produce a large number of internally displaced persons and relatively few refugees (or asylum-seekers) as opposed to a large number or refugees and relatively few internally displaced persons. The study builds on our previous work on forced migration to explore this question, and focuses on three groups of variables across two settings: violence; socio-econo-political opportunities; and transaction costs, both locally and neighboring countries. We develop hypotheses and then conduct statistical analyses of those hypotheses using data on a global sample of countries covering the years 1970-1995. We briefly discuss the implications of our findings for contingency planning and the debate about ‘economic refugees.’

Working Paper #65»