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Happy moves? Assessing the impact of subjective well-being on the emigration decision

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  • Artjoms Ivlevs

    () (University of the West of England, Bristol)

Abstract

Recent literature suggests that higher levels of subjective well-being (happiness and life satisfaction) lead to greater productivity, better physical health and enhanced social skills. The governments of migrant-receiving countries should, therefore, be interested in attracting happy migrants, as this can reduce the burden on the welfare state and facilitate migrants’ integration into the host society. To determine how people select into migration on the basis of subjective well-being, we study causal effects of life satisfaction on emigration intentions in 29 post-socialist countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Instrumental variable analysis suggests that higher levels of life satisfaction have a positive effect on the probability of reporting intentions to migrate, i.e. prospective migrants are positively selected on subjective well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Artjoms Ivlevs, 2014. "Happy moves? Assessing the impact of subjective well-being on the emigration decision," Working Papers 20141402, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:20141402
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    File URL: http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/faculties/BBS/BUS/Research/Economics%20Papers%202014/1402.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolova, Milena & Graham, Carol, 2015. "In transit: The well-being of migrants from transition and post-transition countries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 164-186.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective well-being; life satisfaction; emigration; transition economies;

    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
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies

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