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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:

    1. Nikolova, Milena & Roman, Monica & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2017. "Left behind but doing good? Civic engagement in two post-socialist countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 658-684.
    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. Artjoms Ivlevs & Milena Nikolova & Carol Graham, 2018. "Emigration, remittances and the subjective well-being of those staying behind," Working Papers 2018-024, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Ivlevs, Artjoms & Veliziotis, Michail, 2015. "Local-Level Immigration and Life Satisfaction: The EU Enlargement Experience in England and Wales," IZA Discussion Papers 9513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Ivlevs, Artjoms, 2015. "Happy Moves? Assessing the Link Between Life Satisfaction and Emigration Intentions," IZA Discussion Papers 9017, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Milena Nikolova, 2015. "Migrant well-being after leaving transition economies," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 195-195, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Transition economies; Well-being;

    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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