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Happiness and International Migration

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Author Info

  • Linnea Polgreen

    ()

  • Nicole Simpson

    ()

Abstract

In this paper, we consider the extent to which the aggregate happiness of a country affects the flow of people across its borders. We merge data from the World Values Survey, which produces happiness indices for 84 countries between 1981 and 2004, with three different migration datasets. We find that happiness has a U-shaped relationship with emigration rates: emigration rates fall in happiness for relatively unhappy countries, but rise for relatively happy countries. The U-shaped relationship also holds for migrant flows into the U.S. When analyzing net migration rates, we find that the reverse relationship exists. Net migration is associated with an increase in happiness for relatively unhappy countries, but after a threshold level of happiness, net migration is associated with a decrease in happiness. Our findings are robust to various empirical specifications and datasets.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10902-010-9229-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

Volume (Year): 12 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 819-840

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:12:y:2011:i:5:p:819-840

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/content/1389-4978

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Related research

Keywords: International migration; Happiness; Human development; Income;

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References

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  1. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2009. "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," CEPR Discussion Papers 7311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  23. Ek, Ellen & Koiranen, Markku & Raatikka, Veli-Pekka & Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta & Taanila, Anja, 2008. "Psychosocial factors as mediators between migration and subjective well-being among young Finnish adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(7), pages 1545-1556, April.
  24. David Karemera & Victor Iwuagwu Oguledo & Bobby Davis, 2000. "A gravity model analysis of international migration to North America," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1745-1755.
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Cited by:
  1. Betz, William & Simpson, Nicole B., 2013. "The Effects of International Migration on the Well-Being of Native Populations in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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