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And What About the Family Back Home? International Migration and Happiness

  • Fernando Borraz

    (Universidad de Montevideo)

  • Susan Pozo

    (Western Michigan University)

  • Máximo Rossi

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

In this study we use data on subjective well being and migration in Cuenca, one of the Ecuador's largest cities. We examine the impact of migration on the happiness of the family left behind. We use the propensity score matching estimator to take into account the endogeneity of migration. Our results indicate that migration reduces the happiness of those left behind. We also find that the monetary inflows (remittances) that accompany migration do not increase happiness levels among recipients. These results suggest that the family left behind cannot be compensated, for the increase in unhappiness that it sustains on account of the emigration of loved ones, with remittances from abroad.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - dECON in its series Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) with number 0308.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:0308
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  1. Card, David, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," IZA Discussion Papers 1119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  3. Ximena Soruco & Giorgina Piani & Máximo Rossi, 2008. "What Emigration Leaves Behind: The Situation of Emigrants and Their Families in Ecuador," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 43039, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-70, April.
  5. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James P. Smith, 2003. "Assimilation across the Latino Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 315-319, May.
  7. Barbara Sianesi, 2001. "Propensity score matching," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2001 12, Stata Users Group, revised 23 Aug 2001.
  8. Borjas, George J., 2002. "Homeownership in the immigrant population," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 448-476, November.
  9. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  10. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  11. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2015.
  12. Daniel Miles & Máximo Rossi, 2006. "Learning about one’s relative position and subjective well-being," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0906, Department of Economics - dECON.
  13. Carol Graham & Stefano Pettinato, 2001. "Happiness, Markets, and Democracy: Latin America in Comparative Perspective," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 237-268, September.
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