Language skills are central to refugee integration and the availability of language courses could thus be a limiting factor. We explore how the most important provider of language courses in Germany, adult education centers (VHS), adapted their course supply to the refugee wave of 2015/2016. Our results highlight two channels through which the local environment can affect opportunities for participation in adult learning: First, exploiting the quasi-random allocation of refugees to counties, we causally estimate by how much VHS scaled up their German language course (DAF) supply as a reaction. Moreover, we show that DAF courses were created almost exclusively at the cost of other courses, that is, by crowding out. Second, we uncover heterogeneities in scaling success. VHS with more prior DAF course experience and larger VHS adapted better, which shows the relevance of initial conditions in course offers.

DOI: 10.1177/07417136211068861
ISSN: 0741-7136