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Moving towards happiness

Author

Listed:
  • Arthur Grimes

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Dennis Wesselbaum

    () (University of Otago)

Abstract

We add to the literature on the driving forces of international migration. While the existing literature establishes that income differences, migration costs, and certain other factors (e.g. climate or human rights) affect the migration decision, we focus on the broader role of nonpecuniary factors. We include well-being measures in a standard model of bilateral migration flows and enrich the analysis further by testing the effects on migration of inequality in happiness within a country. Our findings that both the mean and standard deviation of happiness - in both origin and destination countries - help explain bilateral migration flows over and above any income effect, indicates the need to incorporate both pecuniary and non-pecuniary factors when modelling migration choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Grimes & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2018. "Moving towards happiness," Working Papers 18_07, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:18_07
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    File URL: http://motu-www.motu.org.nz/wpapers/18_07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Amelia Aburn & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2017. "Gone with the Wind: International Migration," Working Papers 1708, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    2. Michel Beine & Christopher Parsons, 2015. "Climatic Factors as Determinants of International Migration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 723-767, April.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Oren Ziv, 2016. "Unhappy Cities," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S2), pages 129-182.
    4. Arthur Grimes & les Oxley & Nicholas Tarrant, 2012. "Does Money Buy Me Love? Testing Alternative Measures of National Wellbeing," Working Papers 12_09, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    5. Jasmin Gröschl & Thomas Steinwachs, 2017. "Do Natural Hazards Cause International Migration?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(4), pages 445-480.
    6. Cai, Ruohong & Feng, Shuaizhang & Oppenheimer, Michael & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2016. "Climate variability and international migration: The importance of the agricultural linkage," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 135-151.
    7. Stillman, Steven & Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2015. "Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 79-93.
    8. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
    9. Arthur Grimes & Judd Ormsby & Kate Preston, 2017. "Wages, Wellbeing and Location: Slaving Away in Sydney or Cruising on the Gold Coast," Working Papers 17_07, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    10. Ruohong Cai & Neli Esipova & Michael Oppenheimer & Shuaizhang Feng, 2014. "International migration desires related to subjective well-being," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.
    11. Analia Olgiati & Rocio Calvo & Lisa Berkman, 2013. "Are Migrants Going Up a Blind Alley? Economic Migration and Life Satisfaction around the World: Cross-National Evidence from Europe, North America and Australia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 383-404, November.
    12. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    13. Chen, Yong & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2008. "Local amenities and life-cycle migration: Do people move for jobs or fun?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 519-537, November.
    14. Anna Mayda, 2010. "International migration: a panel data analysis of the determinants of bilateral flows," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1249-1274, September.
    15. Richard H. Thaler, 2016. "Behavioral Economics: Past, Present, and Future," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1577-1600, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rida Ali Khan & Saqib Hussain, 2020. "Review of The Quality of Life and Policy Issues Among the Middle East and North African Countries by El Syed Al Aswad," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 713-715, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; International Migration; Wellbeing.;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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