Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being
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We compare successful and unsuccessful applicants to a migration lottery in order to examine the impact of migration on objective and subjective well-being. The results show that international migration brings large improvements in objective well-being. Impacts on subjective well-being are complex, with mental health improving but happiness declining, self-rated welfare rising if viewed retrospectively but static if viewed experimentally, self-rated social respect rising retrospectively but falling experimentally and subjective income adequacy rising. We further show that these changes would not be predicted from cross-sectional regressions on the correlates of subjective well-being in either Tonga or New Zealand. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.