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The psychic costs of migration: evidence from Irish return migrants

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  • Alan Barrett

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  • Irene Mosca

Abstract

Within the economics literature, the ‘psychic costs’ of migration have been incorporated into theoretical models since Sjaastad (J Polit Econ 70:80–93, 1962 ). However, the existence of such costs has rarely been investigated in empirical papers. In this paper, we look at the psychic costs of migration by using alcohol problems as an indicator. Rather than comparing immigrants and natives, we look at the native-born in a single country and compare those who have lived away for a period of their lives and those who have not. We use data from the first wave of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing which is a large, nationally representative sample of older Irish adults. We find that men who lived away are more likely to have suffered from alcohol problems than men who stayed. For women, we again see a higher incidence of alcohol problems for short-term migrants. However, long-term female migrants are less likely to have suffered from alcohol problems. For these women, it seems that migration provided psychic benefits, and this is consistent with findings from other research which showed how migration provided economic independence to this group. The results remain when we adjust for endogeneity and when we use propensity score matching methods. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Barrett & Irene Mosca, 2013. "The psychic costs of migration: evidence from Irish return migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 483-506, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:2:p:483-506
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0438-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan Barrett & Jean Goggin, 2010. "Returning To The Question Of A Wage Premium For Returning Migrants," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 213(1), pages 43-51, July.
    2. Alessandra Venturini & Riccardo Faini, 2008. "Development and Migration: Lessons from Southern Europe," CHILD Working Papers wp10_08, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    3. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
    4. Catherine Y. Co & Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2000. "Returns to returning," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 57-79.
    5. Barrett, Alan, 1999. "Irish Migration: Characteristics, Causes and Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 97, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1549-:d:146121 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eiji Yamamura, 2017. "Inherited social capital and residential mobility: A study using Japan panel data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(1), pages 579-558.
    3. Liam Delaney & Alan Fernihough & James Smith, 2013. "Exporting Poor Health: The Irish in England," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 2013-2035, December.
    4. Oliver Falck & Alfred Lameli & Jens Ruhose, 2014. "The Cost of Migrating to a Culturally Different Location," CESifo Working Paper Series 4992, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Barrett, Alan & Mosca, Irene, 2012. "Exploring the Early-life Causes and Later-life Consequences of Migration through a Longitudinal Study on Ageing," IZA Discussion Papers 6878, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_119 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:bla:pacecr:v:22:y:2017:i:5:p:792-813 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Barrett, Alan & Mosca, Irene, 2013. "Learning More About the Causes and Consequences of Migration through the Experiences of Ireland's Older People," Papers RB2013/2/2, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    9. Eiji Yamamura, 2017. "Identity, nostalgia and happiness among migrants: The case of the KÅ shien High School Baseball Tournament in Japan," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 792-813, December.
    10. Oliver Falck & Alfred Lameli & Jens Ruhose, 2018. "Cultural biases in migration: Estimating non‐monetary migration costs," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 411-438, June.
    11. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Return migrants; Older adults; Ireland; Alcoholism;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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