Happy newcomers? : subjective well-being of first-generation immigrants in Germany
Title: Happy newcomers? : subjective well-being of first-generation immigrants in Germany
Author: BROCKMANN, Hilke
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2017/63
First-generation immigrants in Germany are surprisingly satisfied with their life. We test to what extent selection, adaptation, or resilience explains their comparatively high level of subjective well-being (SWB). Using Panel data from 1984-2014, we run simultaneous probit and growth curve models and identify competing mechanisms of positive integration. We find mixed evidence for health selection: First-generation immigrants are younger but overall less healthy than Germans. Irrespective of selectivity, significant evidence supports purposive adaptation: First-generation immigrants maintain high levels of happiness by using the local German population as a benchmark only to evaluate their economic situation but not to evaluate their family life. Thus, there is economic but not socio-cultural adaptation. Finally, we find some evidence of higher social but not economic resilience among first-generation immigrants than among Germans. We speculate what this implies for family unification for migrants.
Subject: First-generation migration; Selection; Adaptation; Resilience; Growth curve model
Type of Access: openAccess