Life (Dis)satisfaction and Decision to Migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe

This paper provides the first evidence regarding the impact of life satisfaction on the individual intention to migrate. One framework is used to analyse the impact of individual characteristics and country macroeconomic variables on migration decisions. Unlike other studies, this research allows life satisfaction to serve as a mediator between macroeconomic variables and the intention to migrate. Using the Eurobarometer survey for 27 Central Eastern (CEE) and Western European (non-CEE) countries, it tests the predictions of the theoretical model and finds that people dissatisfied with life have higher intentions to migrate. The macroeconomic conditions affect the intention to migrate indirectly through life satisfaction. The study finds that at all levels of life satisfaction, the unemployed, middle-age individuals at all levels of education with low or average income from urban areas have higher intentions to migrate from CEE countries than from non-CEE countries.

Olga Popova

Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), Regensburg, Germany Junior Researcher, Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education – Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (CERGE-EI), Prague, Czech Republic

  • Topic of the paper:Life (Dis)satisfaction and Decision to Migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe
  • Research interests:Happiness Economics, Political Economy, Applied Microeconomics, Microeconometric Analysis, Transition Economies, Labor Economics, Public Economics
  • Email:opopova@cerge-ei.cz

Vladimir Otrachshenko

PhD. candidate, Nova School of Business and Economics, Lisbon, Portugal

  • Topic of the paper:Life (Dis)satisfaction and Decision to Migrate: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe
  • Research interests:Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Valuation, Happiness Economics, Applied Microeconomics, Micro econometric Analysis
  • Email:vladotr@fe.unl.pt