Volume 39 - Article 47 | Pages 1291–1304 Author has provided data and code for replicating results

Higher acceptance rates of asylum seekers lead to slightly more asylum applications in the future

By Hannes Weber

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:20 Jul 2018
Date published:18 Dec 2018
Word count:2244
Keywords:Africa, asylum seekers, Europe, migration, refugees
Additional files:readme.39-47 (text file, 1 kB)
 demographic-research.39-47 (zip file, 12 MB)


Background: There is much discussion about whether high acceptance rates of asylum applications lead to a greater inflow of asylum seekers to Europe. To date, little is known about this relationship before and after the peak of the so-called refugee crisis of 2015. While Syrian and Iraqi inflows decreased after 2015, African asylum seekers became more numerous, their numbers tripling between 2008 and 2018.

Objective: We study the two-way relationship between the number of asylum applications from Africans and African refugee acceptance rates in Europe.

Methods: We compile quarterly data from 2008 to 2018 on 1,488 country dyads of 48 African and 31 European countries and estimate fixed effects panel models with different lags of the variables of interest.

Results: We find robust evidence for a positive effect of acceptance rates on the number of subsequent asylum applications in the respective countries. However, this effect is rather small in size. Conversely, more applications can prompt authorities to accept fewer asylum seekers, but evidence for this effect is much weaker.

Conclusions: Higher acceptance rates lead to a greater number of asylum seekers, but formal protection rates cannot explain the substantial increase in asylum applicants from Africa to Europe that has continued since the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015. Besides informal practices, which can play a role, the self-reinforcing nature of migration is a major driver of the current increase in inflows.

Contribution: This is the first study to analyze country-to-country flows of asylum seekers on a fine-grained timescale (quarters) focusing on recent developments before and after the ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe.

Author's Affiliation

Hannes Weber - Universität Mannheim, Germany [Email]

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» The ethnic wage penalty in Western European regions: Is the European integration model confirmed when differences within countries are considered?
Volume 46 - Article 23    | Keywords: Europe, migration

» Migration influenced by environmental change in Africa: A systematic review of empirical evidence
Volume 41 - Article 18    | Keywords: Africa, migration

» Back to replacement migration: A new European perspective applying the prospective-age concept
Volume 40 - Article 45    | Keywords: Europe, migration

» From hell to heaven? Evidence of migration trajectories from an Italian refugee centre
Volume 39 - Article 36    | Keywords: asylum seekers, refugees

» Reconstructing trends in international migration with three questions in household surveys: Lessons from the MAFE project
Volume 32 - Article 35    | Keywords: Africa, migration


»Volume 39





Similar Articles



Jump to Article

Volume Page
Volume Article ID