School integration of Syrian refugee children in Turkey

Kırdar, Murat Güray
Dayıoğlu Tayfur, Meltem
There is little evidence based on large-scale representative data on the school integration of refugee children—many of whom live in low- or middle-income countries. This study focuses on Syrian refugee children in Turkey and examines the underlying causes of native–refugee differences in school enrollment using the 2018 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey. Accounting for a rich set of socioeconomic variables, we find that the native–refugee gap in school enrollment drops by half for boys and two-thirds for girls, but a gap persists for both genders. When we restrict the sample to refugees who arrived in Turkey at or before age eight and account for socioeconomic differences, the native–refugee gap completely vanishes for both boys and girls, indicating that school integration of refugee children (at least up to the ages we observe them in the data) has been possible for early arrivers. We also find that the timing of boys’ school dropouts coincides with their entry into the labor market, whereas girls’ dropouts mostly occur before marriage age. Finally, after accounting for socioeconomic differences, refugee children are likelier never to start school, less likely to progress grade levels, and have a lower grade for age.
Labour Economics
Citation Formats
M. G. Kırdar, İ. KOÇ, and M. Dayıoğlu Tayfur, “School integration of Syrian refugee children in Turkey,” Labour Economics, vol. 85, pp. 0–0, 2023, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: