Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1206: How Persistent Is Life Satisfaction? Evidence from European Immigration

Niclas Berggren (), Andreas Bergh (), Christian Bjørnskov () and Shiori Tanaka
Additional contact information
Niclas Berggren: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Andreas Bergh: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: and Lund University
Christian Bjørnskov: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: and Aarhus University
Shiori Tanaka: Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering, Postal: Tokyo Institute of Technology

Abstract: This paper asks to what extent life satisfaction among immigrants remains similar to that in their country of origin and to what extent it adapts to that in their country of residence. We employ data from 29,000 immigrants in the European Social Survey to estimate the relative importance of these influences. We find evidence that the persistence of life satisfaction from the country of origin is strong for migrants from developed countries and close to zero for migrants from formerly communist countries. We also find that persistence for second-generation immigrants is similar but weaker than for their parents.

Keywords: Life satisfaction; Happiness; Life satisfaction; Heritability; Culture; Immigration

JEL-codes: I31; Z10

31 pages, April 4, 2018

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