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Does integration increase life satisfaction

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  • Koczan, Zs

Abstract

In recent years there has been increasing interest in measuring subjective well-being in economics; most of the literature on immigrants has however continued to focus on `objective' measures of integration such as employment and education outcomes. This paper aims to complement these studies by analysing the life satisfaction of immigrants once settled in the host country, examining which elements of integration matter for life satisfaction. We find that in terms of simple averages immigrants appear to be less satisfied than natives. However, contrary to the results of some recent papers, 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. Also segregation does not affect their life satisfaction per se. While having host country citizenship appears to have a large, significant positive effect in a simple pooled ordinary least squares specification, exploiting a natural experiment of changes in the citizenship law in the host country we find that this is driven by a selection effect rather than an increase in life satisfaction due to obtaining citizenship.

Suggested Citation

  • Koczan, Zs, 2013. "Does integration increase life satisfaction," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1314, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1314
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    Cited by:

    1. Knies, Gundi & Nandi, Alita & Platt, Lucinda, 2014. "Life satisfaction, ethnicity and neighbourhoods: is there an effect of neighbourhood ethnic composition on life satisfaction?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55669, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Sarinda Taengnoi, 2014. "Economic man and social woman: Determinants of immigrants' life satisfaction," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1530-1549.
    3. Irena Kogan & Jing Shen & Manuel Siegert, 2018. "What Makes a Satisfied Immigrant? Host-Country Characteristics and Immigrants’ Life Satisfaction in Eighteen European Countries," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(6), pages 1783-1809, August.
    4. Maria Carella & Thaís García-Pereiro & Roberta Pace, 0. "Subjective Well-Being, Transnational Families and Social Integration of Married Immigrants in Italy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-32.
    5. Yoosun Chu & Ce Shen & Jie Yang, 2018. "Country-Level Bonding, Bridging, and Linking Social Capital and Immigrants’ Life Satisfaction," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 745-759, September.
    6. Yaman, F. & Cubi-Molla, P., 2017. "Why Do Immigrants Report Lower Life Satisfaction?," Research Papers 001871, Office of Health Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Integration; subjective well-being; segregation; citizenship law;
    All these keywords.

    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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