Gender Gap in Asylum Recognition Rates in Germany

Public Lecture with Thomas Plümper

During the recent European refugee crisis, more than two million people applied for asylum in Germany. More than half of these applicants received a recognised protection status in one form or another. On average, female applicants had a slightly higher chance to gain protection than male applicants, a fact we refer to as the gender gap in asylum recognition rates. While small on average, this gender gap varies tremendously and, we show, systematically across refugees’ countries of origin. We discuss four potential explanations, namely a general preference for women, gender-specific grounds for protection and persecution affecting men and women differently, differences in the demographic composition of male and female asylum-seeking populations, and, lastly, male dominance in violent crime coupled with some nationalities exhibiting a much higher prevalence of violent crime suspects than others. We show that the cross-country variation in the gender gap in asylum recognition rates can be explained by the latter three determinants, whereas controlling for these structural determinants we find no evidence for a general preference for women.

Thomas Plümper is Professor of Quantitative Social Research at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Plümper was previously Professor of Government at the University of Essex and Director of the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis. He is also one of the founders of the European Political Science Association and currently serves as the Association‘s Vize-president. Plümper has published widely on social science methodology, political economy, and in socio¬economics. His contribution to social science research on natural disasters made him a fellow of the Sendai Framework of Disaster Risk Reduction.

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