Episodes of forced displacement are often protracted. From the Middle East to Latin America, from Africa to South Asia, persistent instability has led to long-term forced displacement. While this is a common feature of the problem, high-quality microdata on host and displaced communities is scarce. As a consequence, we know little about the changes experienced by individuals and households as displacement endures, the correlates of those changes, and the transition from humanitarian response to longer-term policies and interventions.
What’s needed is additional evidence to confront complex, long-term questions related to humanitarian assistance, relocation, repatriation, and integration. Whether and how refugees should be relocated depends on the spillover effects of the refugee influx and of the humanitarian response on the economic and social lives of hosts. The viability of return depends on, among other things, the circumstances of refugees prior to displacement and the reasons for departure. Theoretical and empirical results suggest that properly managed integration has the potential to improve wellbeing among both hosts and refugees. But the literature is nascent, leaving policymakers with limited guidance on how to achieve Pareto improvements via integration. Finally, policymakers are, to greater and lesser extents, constrained by the demands of their constituents. Thus, the attitudes of host communities towards refugees can affect policy, making it essential to understand how those attitudes are formed.
The Cox’s Bazar Panel Survey (CBPS), which is described in the following section, has already begun to answer some of these questions.
We also include some preliminary analytical results with the aim of adding further results as they are ready.