Migration and Happiness: Evidence from Germany

  • Mrittika Shamsuddin
  • Marina-Selini KatsaitiEmail author
Research Paper


With a shrinking population and a rising dependency ratio, Germany needs young migrants, willing and able to integrate with the German society and actively participate in its economic progress. In order to devise successful immigration and integration policies, policymakers should be aware of the factors affecting migrants’ intentions and decisions. In this paper we explore the impact of different measures of subjective well-being on the intended duration of migration stay. Unlike previous research that focused on a binary outcomes of stay intentions, we utilize more detailed data on the year length of intended stay. This way we are able to estimate the marginal effects of happiness on each additional year of stay. With and without addressing endogeneity and sample selection, we find that migrants who are happy with life tend to stay permanently in the host country. Our results also suggest that spouse residence location, education and personal income affect male intentions to stay, while peer income and number of children affect female intentions to stay.


Life satisfaction Subjective well-being Temporary migration Germany 



We thank participants of the 3rd Forum for Research in Economics and Finance at UAEU and two anonymous referees for their comments on an earlier draft. Dr. Marina-Selini Katsaiti is a recipient of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) Start-Up grant (Grant Number 31B023). The data used in this paper was made available to Dr. Marina-Selini Katsaiti by the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Berlin. Dr. Mrittika Shamsuddin is also a recipient of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) Start-Up Grant (Grant Number 31B045).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of Economics and FinanceUnited Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUAE

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