Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 113, Issue 3, pp 1105–1127 | Cite as

The Patterns of Satisfaction Among Immigrants in Germany

  • Ognjen ObućinaEmail author
Article

Abstract

Using the data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, the paper focuses on the analysis of life satisfaction and income satisfaction among immigrants in Germany. The results suggest that it cannot be argued that Germany’s immigrants are, ceteris paribus, more satisfied or less satisfied than natives, since some immigrant groups appear to be more satisfied, while others show lower satisfaction levels relative to natives. Separate estimations for natives and immigrants show that, even though the patterns of satisfaction for the two groups are largely similar, several notable differences emerge. The final goal was to take a closer look at the negative relationship between satisfaction and duration of stay in Germany. After constructing reference groups by the timing of arrival, the negative relationship between income satisfaction and years since migration is reduced substantially. On the other hand, the negative association between duration of stay and life satisfaction is persistent, regardless of the way the reference groups are defined.

Keywords

Immigrant satisfaction Life satisfaction Income satisfaction Reference groups Germany 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I have benefited greatly from the comments of Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Pau Baizán, Amparo González and two anonymous reviwers on an earlier version of this paper.

References

  1. Akay, A., Bargain, O., & Zimmermann, K. F. (2011). Relative concerns of rural-to-urban migrants in China. IZA Discussion Paper no. 5480.Google Scholar
  2. Alba, R., & Nee, V. (1997). Rethinking assimilation theory for a new era of immigration. International Migration Review, 31(4), 826–874.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Antecol, H., & Bedard, K. (2006). Unhealthy assimilation: Why do immigrants converge to American health status levels? Demography, 43(2), 337–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bartram, D. (2011). Economic migration and happiness: Comparing immigrants’ and natives’ happiness gains from income. Social Indicators Research, 103(1), 57–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Basilio, L., & Bauer, T. (2010). Transferability of human capital and immigrant assimilation: An analysis for Germany. IZA Discussion papers 4716.Google Scholar
  6. Berry, J. W. (1997). Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Applied Psychology, 46(1), 5–34.Google Scholar
  7. Berry, J. W. (2001). A psychology of immigration. Journal of Social Issues, 57(3), 615–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borjas, G. J. (1991). Immigration and self-selection. In: J. M. Abowd & R. B. Freeman (Eds.), Immigration, trade and the labor market (pp. 29–76). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Burchardt, T. (2005). Are one Man’s rags another Man’s riches? Identifying adaptive expectations using panel data. Social Indicators Research, 74(1), 57–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carliner, G. (1980). Wages, earnings and hours of first, second and third generation American males. Economic Inquiry, 18(1), 87–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chakravarty, S. R. (1997). Relative deprivation and satisfaction orderings. Keio Economic Studies, 34(2), 17–31.Google Scholar
  12. Chiswick, B. R. (1978). The effect of Americanization on the earnings of the foreign-born men. The Journal of Political Economy, 86(5), 897–921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark, A. E., & Oswald, A. J. (1994). Unhappiness and unemployment. The Economic Journal, 104(424), 648–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clark, A. E., & Oswald, A. J. (1996). Satisfaction and comparison income. Journal of Public Economics, 61(3), 359–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clark, A. E., & Senik, C. (2010). Who compares to whom? The anatomy of income comparisons in Europe. The Economic Journal, 120(544), 573–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Constant, A., & Massey, D. S. (2005). Labor market segmentation and the earnings of German guestworkers. Population Research and Policy Review, 24(5), 489–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Constant, A. F., Roberts, R., & Zimmermann, K. F. (2009). Ethnic identity and immigrant homeownership. Urban Studies, 46(9), 1879–1898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cummins, R. A. (1998). The second approximation to an international standard for life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 43(3), 307–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. D’Ambrosio, C., & Frick, J. (2007). Income satisfaction and relative deprivation: An empirical link. Social Indicators Research, 81(3), 497–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Davis, J. A. (1959). A formal interpretation of the theory of relative deprivation. Sociometry, 22(4), 280–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diener, E., & Diener, M. (2009). Cross-cultural correlates of life satisfaction and self-esteem. In E. Diener (Ed.), Culture and well-being (pp. 71–91). Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Diener, E., & Lucas, R. E. (1999). Personality and subjective well-being. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  23. Dolan, P., Peasgood, T., & White, M. (2008). Do we really know what makes us happy? A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Psychology, 29(1), 94–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Duesenberry, J. S. (1949). Income, saving and the theory of consumer behavior. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Easterlin, R. A. (1995). Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 27(1), 35–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A. A. (2005). Income and well-being: An empirical analysis of the comparison income effect. Journal of Public Economics, 89(5–6), 997–1019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., & Frijters, P. (2004). How important is methodology for the estimates of the determinants of happiness? The Economic Journal, 114(497), 641–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2002). What can economists learn from happiness research? Journal of Economic Literature, 40(2), 402–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gokdemir, O., & Dumludag, D. (2012). Life satisfaction among Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands: The role of absolute and relative income. Social Indicators Research, 106(3), 407–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kahneman, D., & Krueger, A. B. (2006). Developments in the measurement of subjective well-being. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(1), 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Labeaga, J. M., Molina, J. A., & Navarro, M. (2007). Income satisfaction and deprivation in Spain. IZA Working paper, working paper no. 2702.Google Scholar
  32. Landua, D. (1992). An attempt to classify satisfaction changes: Methodological and content aspects of a longitudinal problem. Social Indicators Research, 26(3), 221–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lelkes, O. (2006). Knowing what is good for you: Empirical analysis of personal preferences and the “objective good”. Journal of Socio-Economics, 35(2), 285–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McBride, M. (2001). Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 45(3), 251–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Michalos, A. C. (1991). Global report on student well-being, vol. II: Family, friends, living partner, and self-esteem. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  36. Mulder, C. H., & Wagner, M. (2001). The connections between family formation and first-time home ownership in the context of West Germany and The Netherlands. European Journal of Population/Revue Europeenne De Demographie, 17(2), 137–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mundlak, Y. (1978). On the pooling of time series and cross section data. Econometrica, 46(1), 69–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Phinney, J. S., Horenczyk, G., Liebkind, K., & Vedder, P. (2001). Ethnic identity, immigration, and well-being: An interactional perspective. Journal of Social Issues, 57(3), 493–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Portes, A., & Böröcz, J. (1989). Contemporary immigration: Theoretical perspectives on its determinants and modes of incorporation. International Migration Review, 23(3), 606–630.Google Scholar
  40. Runciman, W. G. (1966). Relative deprivation and social justice: Study attitudes social inequality in 20th century England. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Safi, M. (2010). Immigrants’ life satisfaction in Europe: Between assimilation and discrimination. European Sociological Review, 26(2), 159–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schimmack, U., Radhakrishnan, P., Oishi, S., Dzokoto, V., & Ahadi, S. (2002). Culture, personality, and subjective well-being: Integrating process models of life satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(4), 582–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schwarze, J., & Härpfer, M. (2007). Are people inequality averse, and do they prefer redistribution by the state? Evidence from German longitudinal data on life satisfaction. Journal of Socio-Economics, 36(2), 233–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Senik, C. (2005). Income distribution and well-being: What can we learn from subjective data? Journal of Economic Surveys, 19(1), 43–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stark, O., & Taylor, J. E. (1989). Relative deprivation and international migration. Demography, 26(1), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stark, O., & Yitzhaki, S. (1988). Labour migration as a response to relative deprivation. Journal of Population Economics, 1(1), 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stouffer, S. A., Lumsdaine, A. A., Lumsdaine, M. H., Williams Jr., R. M., Smith, M. B., Janis, I. L., et al. (1949). The American soldier: Combat and its aftermath. (Studies in social psychology in World War II, vol. 2.). Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Van Praag, B., Romanov, D., & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A. (2010). Happiness and financial satisfaction in Israel. effects of religiosity, ethnicity, and war. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(6).Google Scholar
  49. Vera-Toscano, E., Ateca-Amestoy, V., & Serrano-Del-Rosal, R. (2006). Building financial satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 77(2), 211–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Verkuyten, M. (2008). Life satisfaction among ethnic minorities: The role of discrimination and group identification. Social Indicators Research, 89(3), 391–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Winkelmann, L., & Winkelmann, R. (1998). Why are the unemployed so unhappy? Evidence from panel data. Economica, 65(257), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political and Social SciencesUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations