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Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being

Listed author(s):
  • Stillman, Steven
  • Gibson, John
  • McKenzie, David
  • Rohorua, Halahingano

We compare successful and unsuccessful applicants to a migration lottery in order to examine the impact of migration on objective and subjective well-being. The results show that international migration brings large improvements in objective well-being. Impacts on subjective well-being are complex, with mental health improving but happiness declining, self-rated welfare rising if viewed retrospectively but static if viewed experimentally, self-rated social respect rising retrospectively but falling experimentally and subjective income adequacy rising. We further show that these changes would not be predicted from cross-sectional regressions on the correlates of subjective well-being in either Tonga or New Zealand.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X13001654
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 65 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 79-93

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:65:y:2015:i:c:p:79-93
DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.07.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  7. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gall is not listed on IDEAS
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  11. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua, 2008. "How Pro-Poor is the Selection of Seasonal Migrant Workers from Tonga under New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?," Working Papers in Economics 08/08, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
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  16. Angus Deaton, 2009. "Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development," Working Papers 1122, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
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  22. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2008. "How pro-poor is the selection of seasonal migrant workers from Tonga under New Zealand's recognized seasonal employer program ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4698, The World Bank.
  23. John Gibson & Steven Stillman & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua, 2013. "Natural Experiment Evidence On The Effect Of Migration On Blood Pressure And Hypertension," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(6), pages 655-672, 06.
  24. Yaohui Zhao, 1999. "Leaving the Countryside: Rural-to-Urban Migration Decisions in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 281-286, May.
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  27. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2002. "Self-rated economic welfare in Russia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1453-1473, September.
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