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The Impact of Immigration on the Well-Being of Natives

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  • Akay, Alpaslan

    ()
    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Constant, Amelie F.

    ()
    (George Washington University, Temple University)

  • Giulietti, Corrado

    ()
    (IZA)

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of immigration directly on the overall utility of natives. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to explore such nexus. Combining information from the German Socio-Economic Panel dataset with detailed local labour market characteristics for the period 1997 to 2007, we investigate how changes in the spatial concentration of immigrants affect the subjective well-being of the German-born population. Our results suggest the existence of a robust, positive effect of immigration on natives' well-being. The presence of confounding local labour market characteristics has a negligible impact on the estimates. Furthermore, we find substantial evidence that the effect of immigration on well-being is a function of the assimilation of immigrants in the region. The effect of immigration is higher in regions with an intermediate level of economic assimilation and is essentially zero in areas where immigrants are either least or fully economically integrated. We conduct robustness checks to address the potential endogeneity between subjective well-being and immigration. Our tests indicate that natives are not crowded out by immigrants, and that the sorting of immigrants to regions with higher SWB is weak. This suggests that our main findings are not driven or strongly influenced by reverse causality or selectivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6630.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2014, 103, 72–92. Pre-publication version available here
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6630

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Keywords: assimilation; subjective well-being; immigration;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giuntella, Osea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "Do Immigrants Bring Good Health?," IZA Discussion Papers 8073, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gundi Knies & Alita Nandi & Lucinda Platt, 2014. "Life satisfaction, ethnicity and neighbourhoods: is there an effect of neighbourhood ethnic composition on life satisfaction?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 55669, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. 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).
  4. Akay, Alpaslan & Constant, Amelie & Giulietti, Corrado, 2014. "The impact of immigration on the well-being of natives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 72-92.
  5. Artjoms Ivlevs, 2014. "Happy moves? Assessing the impact of subjective well-being on the emigration decision," Working Papers 20141402, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  6. Constant, Amelie F. & Schüller, Simone & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "Ethnic Spatial Dispersion and Immigrant Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 7868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Osea Giuntella, 2014. "Immigration and Job Disamenities," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(2), pages 20-26, 07.

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