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Life (Dis)satisfaction and the Decision to Migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe

Researchers: Olga POPOVA (IOS and CERGE-EI Prague), Vladimir Otrachshenko
Keywords: life satisfaction, migration, decision making
Funding: IOS, ERSTE Foundation (http://www.erstestiftung.org)
Project duration: 2010-2014

This paper provides the first evidence regarding the impact of life satisfaction on the individual intention to migrate. The impact of individual characteristics and country macroeconomic variables on the decision to migrate is analyzed in one framework. Differently from other studies, we allow for life satisfaction to serve as a mediator between macroeconomic variables and the intention to migrate. Using the Eurobarometer Survey for 27 Central Eastern (CEE) and Western European (non-CEE) countries, we test the predictions of our theoretical model and find that dissatisfied with life, people have a higher intention to migrate. The macroeconomic conditions have an effect on the intention to migrate indirectly through life satisfaction. At all levels of life satisfaction, unemployed, middle-aged individuals with a low or average income from urban areas at all levels of education are found to have higher intentions to migrate from CEE countries than from non-CEE countries.

Project publications:

Popova, Olga and Otrachshenko, Vladimir, Life (Dis)Satisfaction and the Decision to Migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe (December  2011). Osteuropa-Institut Regensburg Working Paper No. 306. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1982502.

Otrachshenko, Vladimir and Popova, Olga, Life (Dis)Satisfaction and the Decision to Migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe (April 2012). CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 460. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2046913.

Otrachshenko, Vladimir and Popova, Olga, Life (Dis)Satisfaction and the Decision to Migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe (October 2012). FEUNL Working Paper Series No. 570. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2176104

Otrachshenko, V., Popova, O., 2014. Life (dis)satisfaction and the intention to migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of Socio-Economics 48, 40-49. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socec.2013.09.008