Migrants look for a better life. In what kind of country will they live happiest? Many migrants aspire to move to wealthy countries, but non-economic factors might be important as well in making a country livable for migrants. This issue is addressed here by examining the impact of macroeconomic conditions and non-economic macro-conditions (good governance and a pleasant social climate) on immigrants' happiness in twenty European nations. We find that immigrants' happiness depends both on economic and non-economic macro-conditions. The social climate is especially important, particularly in terms of a positive attitude in society towards migrants. Our findings imply that the choice of destination country matters for migrants' happiness and that the discrepancy between migration motives and migration outcomes may constrain immigrants from maximizing subjective gains via migration.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.11.006, hdl.handle.net/1765/84773
Social Science Research
Erasmus School of Economics

Hendriks, M., & Bartram, D. (2016). Macro-conditions and immigrants' happiness: Is moving to a wealthy country all that matters?. Social Science Research, 56, 90–107. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.11.006