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(Why) are immigrants unhappy?

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  • Zsóka Kóczán

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Abstract

Recent studies suggest that migrants may be less satisfied with their ‘new’ lives than members of the host population and worry that this may be driven by cultural factors, such as feelings of not belonging. Motivated by this concern, this paper analyses the life satisfaction of immigrants once settled in the host country. We rely on the German Socio-Economic Panel’s immigrant sample for the years 1984–2010 and find that while immigrants are less satisfied than natives, this difference can be explained by factors related to economic integration, such as the details of their employment conditions, rather than cultural factors such as feelings of not belonging, which often loom large in the public mind. JEL codes: J15, K37, O15 Copyright Kóczán. 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Zsóka Kóczán, 2016. "(Why) are immigrants unhappy?," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izamig:v:5:y:2016:i:1:p:1-25:10.1186/s40176-016-0052-4
    DOI: 10.1186/s40176-016-0052-4
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Integration; Subjective well-being; Segregation; Citizenship law;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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