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The effect of immigration on natives’ well-being in the European Union

Kelsey O'Connor ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2020, vol. 180, issue C, 257-274

Abstract: Immigration is one of the most debated topics in Europe today. Immigrants may affect natives through multiple channels, both economic and non-economic. For this reason, evidence that reflects all of the relevant factors influenced by immigrants is necessary to inform policy. This paper uses life satisfaction, a comprehensive single-item measure, to demonstrate that immigration has no statistically significant effects on natives’ overall well-being, in 28 European countries (the EU and UK) over the years 1990–2017 (EU12) and 2005–2017 (new member states). This finding holds for immigrants from the EU, not from the EU, refugees, and regardless of natives’ age or level of education. In order to overcome data limitations and endogeneity concerns, the methods range from observing the raw data to instrumental variable regressions. Life satisfaction is aggregated from Eurobarometer surveys. Immigrant stocks are from the United Nations (for every five years and again in 2017).

Keywords: Migration; Refugees; Life satisfaction; Happiness; Eurobarometer; European union policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.10.006

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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