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In transit: The well-being of migrants from transition and post-transition countries

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  • Nikolova, Milena
  • Graham, Carol

Abstract

The extant literature on migration and well-being has focused on migration's consequences for the receiving countries. In this paper, we ask a different but important question: how much do migrants gain from moving to another country? Using Gallup World Poll data and a methodology combining statistical matching and difference-in-differences, we assess migration's effects on the well-being of migrants from transition economies. We contribute to the literature by showing that in addition to increasing household income, migration enhances subjective well-being and satisfaction with freedom. The results are robust to sensitivity checks. Understanding the causal effects of migration on perceived and actual well-being is crucial for an informed public policy debate and has direct implications for social cohesion and integration policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolova, Milena & Graham, Carol, 2015. "In transit: The well-being of migrants from transition and post-transition countries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 164-186.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:112:y:2015:i:c:p:164-186
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.003
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    Cited by:

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    2. Ruyssen, Ilse & Salomone, Sara, 2018. "Female migration: A way out of discrimination?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 224-241.
    3. Nejad, Maryam Naghsh & Young, Andrew T., 2016. "Want freedom, will travel: Emigrant self-selection according to institutional quality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 71-84.
    4. O'Connor, Kelsey J., 2020. "The effect of immigration on natives’ well-being in the European Union," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 257-274.
    5. Sung Soo Lim, 2018. "Aspirations of Migrants and Returns to Human Capital Investment," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 317-334, July.
    6. Artjoms Ivlevs, 2015. "Happy Moves? Assessing the Link between Life Satisfaction and Emigration Intentions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 335-356, August.
    7. Arusha Cooray & Friedrich Schneider, 2016. "Does corruption promote emigration? An empirical examination," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 293-310, January.
    8. Danzer, Alexander M. & Dietz, Barbara, 2018. "The Economic and Social Determinants of Migrants' Well-Being during the Global Financial Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 11272, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Milena Nikolova, 2015. "Migrant well-being after leaving transition economies," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 195-195, October.
    10. Artjoms Ivlevs & Milena Nikolova & Carol Graham, 2019. "Emigration, remittances, and the subjective well-being of those staying behind," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 113-151, January.
    11. Artjoms Ivlevs & Michail Veliziotis, 2018. "Local-level immigration and life satisfaction: The EU enlargement experience in England and Wales," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 50(1), pages 175-193, February.
    12. Danzer, Alexander M. & Dietz, Barbara, 2018. "Migrants’ well-being during the global financial crisis: Economic and social predictors," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 770-787.
    13. Smith, Michael D. & Floro, Maria S., 2020. "Food insecurity, gender, and international migration in low- and middle-income countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    14. Alexander M. Danzer & Barbara Dietz, 2018. "Getting Incentives Right: The economic and social determinants of migrants’ well-being during the global financial crisis," Working Papers 371, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    15. Chenevier, Randall & Piper, Alan T. & Willis, Craig, 2021. "Migration, crime and life satisfaction in Chile: Pre and post-migration evidence," MPRA Paper 106502, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Transition economies; Well-being;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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