Forced Migration and Local Economic Development: Evidence from Postwar Hungary

Daniel Borbely, Ross McKenzie

Research output: Working paper/PreprintDiscussion 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
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameStrathclyde Discussion Papers in Economics
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde


  • forced migration
  • regional inequality
  • persistence
  • minorities
  • economic development
  • trust


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