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And What About the Family Back Home? International Migration and Happiness

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  • Borraz, Fernando
  • Pozo, Susan
  • Rossi, Máximo

Abstract

In this study we use data on subjective well being and migration in Cuenca, one of the Ecuador's largest cities. We examine the impact of migration on the happiness of the family left behind. We use the propensity score matching estimator to take into account the endogeneity of migration. Our results indicate that migration reduces the happiness of those left behind. We also find that the monetary inflows (remittances) that accompany migration do not increase happiness levels among recipients. These results suggest that the family left behind cannot be compensated, for the increase in unhappiness that it sustains on account of the emigration of loved ones, with remittances from abroad. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 with number 2.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec08:2

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Keywords: Happiness; migration; remittances;

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References

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  1. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," NBER Working Papers 11547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hartog, Joop & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1998. "Health, wealth and happiness: why pursue a higher education?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 245-256, June.
  3. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  4. Ximena Soruco & Giorgina Piani & Máximo Rossi, 2008. "What Emigration Leaves Behind: The Situation of Emigrants and their Families in Ecuador," Research Department Publications 3244, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. Carol Graham & Stefano Pettinato, 2001. "Happiness, Markets, and Democracy: Latin America in Comparative Perspective," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 237-268, September.
  6. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-70, April.
  7. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 Feb 2014.
  8. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  10. Barbara Sianesi, 2001. "Propensity score matching," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2001 12, Stata Users Group, revised 23 Aug 2001.
  11. James P. Smith, 2003. "Assimilation across the Latino Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 315-319, May.
  12. George J. Borjas, 2002. "Homeownership in the Immigrant Population," NBER Working Papers 8945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Daniel Miles & Máximo Rossi, 2006. "Learning about one’s relative position and subjective well-being," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0906, Department of Economics - dECON.
  14. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Stillman, Steven & Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2012. "Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6871, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Alpaslan Akay & Corrado Giulietti & Juan D. Robalino & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2013. "Remittances and Well-Being among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," Working Papers 1447, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Alejandro Cid & Daniel Ferres & Máximo Rossi, 2008. "Subjective Well-Being in the Southern Cone: Health, Income and Family," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1308, Department of Economics - dECON.
  4. 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).
  5. David Bartram, 2011. "Economic Migration and Happiness: Comparing Immigrants’ and Natives’ Happiness Gains From Income," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 57-76, August.

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