Can market mechanisms solve the refugee crisis? Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2016


  • 244

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2054-9571


  • The unequal distribution of refugees across countries could unravel the international refugee protection system or, in the case of the EU, hinder a common policy response to refugee crises. A way to distribute refugees efficiently, while respecting their rights, is to combine two market mechanisms. First, a market for tradable refugee admission quotas that allows refugees to be established wherever it is less costly to do so. Second, a matching system that links refugees to their preferred destinations, and host countries to their preferred types of refugees. The proposal is efficient but has yet to be tested in practice.


  • Economics


  • international migration; refugees; tradable quotas; matching; public goods