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  • Project contributors: Findlay A, Gayle V, Van-Ham M, Nowok B,

    This Project is linked to the following Strand/s:

    Migration and Mobility

    Overview

    Objectives
    This project investigated whether individuals who migrate within the UK become happier after the move than they were before it, whether the effect is permanent or transient and whether the outcome depends on motives and types of moves. It also identified life domains with most significant satisfaction changes associated with migration.

    The general aim of the project was to investigate a range of non-labour market implications of internal migration and contribute to the literature focusing primarily on labour market outcomes. Areas of particular interest included self-reported psychological, physical and social well-being of migrants. Additionally, it aimed to determine whether or not the effects of changing place of residence are different for various types of migration and whether the changes are permanent or transient.

    Methods
    The longitudinal analysis of changes in well-being around the time of the migration event provides new insights into the implications of migration for the movers. Previous modelling studies on consequences of longer distance internal migration have focused mainly on the labour market outcomes and the material well-being of migrants and have neglected other aspects of social life. The use of panel data allowed the analysis to be innovative in examining whether the effects of migration on well-being are transient or permanent.

    Findings
    From the individual's perspective migration is nearly always a major life event. The motives for moving from one place to another are usually complicated and the outcome arouses mixed feelings. Migrants experience various economic, environmental and social changes. They may be better-off after the move but their social life may suffer and this can lead to decreased happiness (either in anticipation of migration or after the event).

    There are significant well-being changes associated with mobility with the strongest effect in the year of migration. Migrants are happier just after the move than they were just prior to it. A broader temporal perspective reveals, however, that migration is preceded by a decline in happiness. The boost that is received through migration seems to bring people back to their initial level of well-being. Unlike potential returns to human capital, the returns to migration in terms of happiness appear to be time-specific and not to accumulate after migration. In the broader context of well-being the results support the set-point theory of happiness and present mobility as a way by which an individual can regain a stable sense of well-being. This said, the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) dataset mainly captures short-distance moves, many of which are limited to residential mobility and lifecourse transitions. A different picture might have emerged from a dataset for longer distance migrants.

    The project findings make an original contribution by revealing changes in happiness occurring not only immediately before and after the moving, but also over the longer run. Migration can be seen as a potentially positive process that contributes to individuals' well-being but unevenly in relation to different life domains.

    Publications & Activities

    Migration motivations and migrants' satisfaction in the life course: A sequence analysis of geographical mobility trajectories in the United Kingdom
    BSPS 2013 (2013). (University of Swansea)
    Authors: Nowok B, Findlay A,

    Migration motivations and migrants' satisfaction in the life course: A sequence analysis of geographical mobility trajectories in the United Kingdom
    International Conference on Population Geographies (2013). (Groningen, Netherlands)
    Authors: Nowok B, Findlay A,

    Does migration make you happy? A longitudinal study of internal migration and subjective wellbeing
    European Population Conference 2012 (2012). (Stockholm)
    Authors: Nowok B, Van-Ham M, Findlay A, Gayle V,

    The wellbeing of migrants engaged in residential migration: an uneven impact of different life domains
    British Society of Population Studies Conference 2012 (2012). (University of Nottingham)
    Authors: Findlay A, Nowok B,

    The uneven impact of different life domains on the wellbeing of migrants
    British Society for Population Studies Conference 2012 (2012). (Nottingham)
    Authors: Nowok B, Findlay A,

    The wellbeing of internal migrants. A longitudinal analysis of satisfaction with housing and other life domains
    ESRC-CPC and PGRG Conference on Innovative Perspectives on Population Mobility (2012). (St Andrews)
    Authors: Nowok B, Findlay A,

    Does migration make you happy? A longitudinal study of migration and life satisfaction
    British Society for Population Studies Conference 2011 (2011). (York)
    Authors: Nowok B, Van-Ham M,

    Migration and life satisfaction
    CPC seminar series (2011). (National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh)
    Authors: Nowok B,

    Migration and life satisfaction
    Population, Health and Welfare Research Group seminar series (2011). (St. Andrews University )
    Authors: Nowok B,

    Social mobility: Is there a benefit of being English in Scotland?
    Congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) (2010). (Jönköping, Sweden)
    Authors: Van-Ham M, Findlay A, Manley D, Feijten P,

    Social Mobility: Is there an advantage in being English in Scotland
    ESRC-CASS Conference on Migration & Labour Markets (2010). (University of St Andrews)
    Authors: Van-Ham M, Findlay A, Manley D, Feijten P,