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The Psychic Costs of Migration: Evidence from Irish Return Migrants

  • Barrett, Alan

    ()

    (ESRI, Dublin)

  • Mosca, Irene

    ()

    (Trinity College Dublin)

Within the economics literature, the "psychic costs" of migration have been incorporated into theoretical models since Sjaastad (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 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 (TILDA) 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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6324.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6324
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  1. Barrett, Alan, 1999. "Irish Migration: Characteristics, Causes and Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 97, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ira N. Gang & Catherine Y. Co & Myeong-Su Yun, 1999. "Returns to Returning," Departmental Working Papers 199813, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 R43-R51, July.
  5. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
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