Determinants of Forced Migration: The Varying Effects of Violence and Economic Conditions on Syrian Refugee Flight
The majority of existing research on the impact of civil war on forced migration flows uses observations at the annual-global level, limiting the applicability of results to explaining aggregate trends. This article studies refugee flows from Syria to Jordan from 2012-2015 at the weekly level to test how violence and economic conditions affect the fluctuation of migration processes. The results of regression analysis offer support for the argument that all violence does not affect migration decisions uniformly; rather some types of violence produce higher migration flows, while others, such as chemical warfare, render conditions too unsafe to flee. Furthermore, while economic conditions in the origin country affect migration flows, conditions in the destination country do not, suggesting that economic opportunities outside the country are less consequential as a determinant of forced migration during civil war. The research demonstrates the importance of using data at low levels of temporal aggregation to uncover causal mechanisms underlying refugee flight.