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Title:Does migration make you happy? A longitudinal study of internal migration and subjective well-being PDF Logo
Authors:Nowok, Beata
van Ham, Maarten
Findlay, Allan M.
Gayle, Vernon
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6140
Abstract:The majority of modelling studies on consequences of internal migration focus almost exclusively on the labour market outcomes and the material well-being of migrants. We investigate whether individuals who migrate within the UK become happier after the move than they were before it and whether the effect is permanent or transient. Using life satisfaction responses from 12 waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and employing a fixed-effects model, we derive a temporal pattern of migrants' subjective well-being (SWB) around the time of the migration event. Our findings make an original contribution by revealing for the first time that, on average, migration is preceded by a period when individuals experience a significant decline in happiness. The boost that is received through migration appears to bring people back to their initial level of happiness. As opposed to labour market outcomes of migration, SWB outcomes do not differ significantly between men and women. Perhaps surprisingly, long-distance migrants are at least as happy as short-distance migrants despite the higher social costs that are involved.
Subjects:migration
happiness
subjective well-being
longitudinal data
UK
JEL:J61
R23
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-201112136933
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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