Authors: Arthur Grimes, Dennis Wesselbaum
People think of fun
when migrating, not just jobs.
Happiness is key.
Why do people migrate from one country to another? People may move not just to increase their income but also for their broader wellbeing, e.g. to enjoy a better lifestyle. Prior research has established that income differences between destination and origin countries of prospective migrants play a part in decisions to move. Our research looks at how ‘happiness’ (i.e. subjective wellbeing) factors into the decision to migrate.
We look at how ‘happy’ a country is on average and what this explains about migration between origin and destination countries. Happiness here reflects the mean level of surveyed life satisfaction in a country. We also look at the standard deviation of happiness to see whether inequality in happiness within a country has an
impact on migration decisions. The study indicates the need to incorporate broader measures of wellbeing, including both pecuniary and non-pecuniary factors, when modelling migration choices.