ERF Policy Conference on: Employment, Education and Housing in Jordan: The Impacts of the Syrian Refugee Influx - Economic Research Forum (ERF)


Since 2011, Jordan has been buffeted by powerful external forces related to the situation in neighboring countries. The deteriorating security situation in the region as a whole, and Syria in particular, resulted in large flows of refugees into Jordan, a reduction in tourism and foreign investment. The challenges facing Jordan have put serious strains on the Jordanian economy and its labor market. This was manifested in a substantial slowdown in economic growth, a decline in employment rates among Jordanians and an increase in their unemployment rates.
At the same time, Jordan has received generous assistance from the international community to help it to cope with the large inflow of Syrian refugees. The aim of the assistance has been to support Jordan and turn the challenges into opportunities, providing services to the refugee population as well as strengthening the resilience of Jordanian communities. Yet, the resources needed to host the large number of refugees undoubtedly outpaced the assistance received.


This conference aims to examine the impact of the Syrian refugee influx on various aspects of life for Jordanians, including their labor market outcomes, their access to education services and housing, and their demographic behavior in terms of marriage and fertility. The opportunity to carry out such an analysis by researchers affiliated with the Economic Research Forum (ERF) is made possible by the data that were recently collected as part of the second wave of the Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey (JLMPS) in 2016 and 2017 implemented by ERF in cooperation with the Jordanian Department of Statistics (DoS). The JLMPS is a major, nationally representative longitudinal household survey that was first carried out in Jordan by ERF and DoS in 2010 on a sample of 5,000 households. The second wave of 2016 followed all the households originally interviewed in 2010, as well as all the households that split from them. It also added a refresher sample of 3,000 households that oversampled neighborhoods with a high proportion of non-Jordanians as a way to obtain a representative sample of refugees and migrants.

Discerning the impact of one set of shocks among many is difficult at best. A before and after comparison ascertains the impact of the combined forces affecting the Jordanian society and economy during this six-year period. To isolate the specific effects of the refugee influx, a careful research strategy that compares areas differentially affected by the refugee influx before and after the shock is needed. The policy papers being presented at this conference are based on a series of carefully executed academic research papers that pursue state-of-the-art analytical methodologies to disentangle the effects of the refugee influx from those of the overall economic crisis Jordan has faced in the same period.


The conference is organized jointly by ERF, the Economic and Social Council and DoS. The Economic and Social Council has been set up as the first official and institutionalized forum for the promotion of social dialogue and tripartite policy discussions in Jordan with the goal of reaching reasonable consensus on economic and social policies in Jordan. It works to promote coordination between stakeholders, accountability, and an inclusive policy making mechanism, a role that is essential in the process of discussing the research conducted. Other partners include Al-Yarmouk University and Al-Hussein University whose researchers participated in the analysis of the data. The conference will take place over two days. The first day is a policy-oriented conference examining the broad theme of the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on Jordanians. The second day is a focused, academic seminar presenting the results of the JLMPS survey on specific aspects of the Jordanian labor market.

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Research Fellows

Ibrahim Elbadawi

Managing Director, Economic Research Forum

Research Fellows

Ragui Assaad

Professor of Planning and Public Affairs, University of Minnesota


Caroline Krafft

Assistant Professor of economics at St. Catherine University

Research Fellows

Jackline Wahba

Professor of Economics, University of Southampton, UK


Maia Sieverding

Assistant Professor of Public Health Practice at the American University of Beirut

Policy Briefs

The Impact of the Syrian Refugee Influx on the Education and Housing Outcomes of Jordanians

Ragui Assaad

In a nutshell Jordan was on a path of improving educational outcomes and improved housing quality prior to the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis and ... read more

Policy Briefs

The Impact of the Syrian Refugee Influx on the Jordanian Labour Market

Jackline Wahba

In a nutshell The slowdown in economic growth in Jordan predates the Syrian refugee influx. Between 2010 and 2016, labour force inactivity increased, employment decreased, and unemployment ... read more

Policy Briefs

The Wellbeing of Syrian Refugees: Shifting from Humanitarian to Developmental Response in Jordan

Caroline Krafft and Maia Sieverding

In a nutshell Syrian refugees in Jordan are a very young population, disproportionately in female-headed households (23%), and living in host communities (87%) rather than official ... read more

Policy Briefs

How are families changing in Jordan? New evidence on marriage and fertility trends among Jordanians and Syrian refugees

Maia Sieverding , Caroline Krafft and Nasma Berri

In a nutshell Fertility decline appears to be resuming in Jordan after a long period during which fertility rates stalled. The national total fertility rate (TFR) ... read more

Working Papers

The Impact of Refugees on Employment and Wages in Jordan

Belal Fallah , Caroline Krafft and Jackline Wahba

Starting in 2011, the Syrian conflict caused a large influx of refugees into Jordan. As of 2015, there were an estimated 1.3 million Syrians in ... read more

Working Papers

Services for Syrian Refugee Children and Youth in Jordan: Forced Displacement, Foreign Aid, and Vulnerability

Colette Salemi , Jay A. Bowman and Jennifer Compton

This report provides an overview of the current services available for Syrian refugee youth and children in Jordan, with a focus on the following sectors: ... read more

Working Papers

Marriage and fertility patterns among Jordanians and Syrian refugees in Jordan

Maia Sieverding , Nasma Berri and Sawsan Abdulrahim

In this paper we use the Jordan Labor Market Panel Surveys (JLMPS) of 2010 and 2016 to examine recent change in marriage and fertility outcomes ... read more

Working Papers

Introducing the Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey 2016

Caroline Krafft and Ragui Assaad

This paper introduces the 2016 wave of the Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey (JLMPS). The 2016 wave is a follow up on the initial 2010 ... read more

Working Papers

The Evolution of Social Security in Jordan’s Labor Market: A Critical Comparison Between Pre- and Post- 2010 Social Security Reform

Ibrahim Al Hawarin and Irène Selwaness

Jordan has undergone a profound social security reform since 2010, primarily aiming to ensure the financial sustainability of the system over time. The reform measures ... read more

Working Papers

Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Demographics, Livelihoods, Education, and Health

Caroline Krafft , Maia Sieverding , Caitlyn Keo and Colette Salemi

Since 2011, Jordan has been hosting a substantial number of refugees from Syria. This paper profiles the Syrian refugee population in Jordan in terms of ... read more

Working Papers

The Composition of Labor Supply and its Evolution from 2010 to 2016 in Jordan

Ragui Assaad , Caroline Krafft and Caitlyn Keo

This paper investigates the changing character of labor supply in Jordan in light of recent demographic developments as well as the rapid increases in educational ... read more

Working Papers

Impact of Refugees on Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes

Bilal Malaeb and Jackline Wahba

The Syrian refugee influx in Jordan came on top of an additional 1.6 million foreigners residing in Jordan. The non-national population of refugees and immigrants ... read more

Working Papers

Jordan’s fertility stall and resumed decline: an investigation of demographic factors

Caroline Krafft and Maia Sieverding

From the late 1990s until 2010, the fertility transition in Jordan was stalled, with the total fertility rate (TFR) well above replacement level. In this ... read more

Working Papers

Syrian Refugees and the Migration Dynamics of Jordanians: Moving in or moving out?

Nelly El-Mallakh and Jackline Wahba

This paper examines the impact of the Syrian refugee inflows on the migration dynamics of Jordanians. Using unique data from Jordan, we exploit the geographical ... read more

Working Papers

Migration Dynamics during the Refugee Influx in Jordan

Jackline Wahba and Bilal Malaeb

This paper provides overall evidence of the migration dynamics in Jordan between 2010 and 2016, during which the country experienced a large influx of Syrian ... read more

Working Papers

Housing and Living Conditions In Jordan—2010-2016

Ahmed Elsayed

This paper uses a new and original dataset, the Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey (JLMPS) of 2010 and 2016 to study living and housing conditions ... read more

Working Papers

School-to-Work Transition in Jordan, 2010-2016

Mona Amer

This paper presents an analysis of the school-to-work transition in Jordan from 2010 to 2016 in a context of a demographic shock due to a ... read more



Understanding the impact of the Syrian refugee influx on education in Jordan

This Blog is written by Aalaa Halaka     As part of the opening policy panel of the ... read more

Beyond Refugee Relief: Promoting Sustainable Inclusive Growth in Jordan

This Blog is written by Aalaa Halaka   Sara Ferrer Olivella from the ... read more

Considering the positive impact of refugees on the economy

This Blog is written by Alaa Naguib   Just like there are two sides to a coin, ... read more

What is the impact of Syrian refugees on Jordanians in the labor market?

This blog is written by Alaa Naguib   Susan Razzaz is a Jordan-based economist specialized in labor ... read more

Marriage and fertility patterns among Jordanians and Syrian refugees in Jordan

This Blog written by Aalaa Halaka   Maia Sieverding is assistant professor at the Faculty of Health ... read more