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Migration may add dollars but not smiles: Study


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Recent data states that the US is home to as many as 1.6 million immigrant Indians which make them the third largest immigrant group in the country. Needless to say that these Indians left their motherland for greener pastures and fatter pay packages, thus aiming for a "happier" life!

Interestingly, a recent study states what our scriptures and philosophers have been reiterating for years now. It states that economic migrants travelling to different shores could be set for disappointment since the pursuit of wealth does not equate happiness.

According to a study conducted by the University of Leicester, life as an immigrant in a wealthy country can be "hard".

Sociologist Dr David Bartram carried out the study: "Economic Migration and Happiness: Comparing Immigrants' and Natives' Happiness Gains from Income." He sought to establish whether those people who were motivated by higher incomes in a wealthy country actually gain greater happiness via migration. He also examined whether these economic migrants might have exaggerated expectations about what they will achieve and experience, such that there is some significant disappointment.

Dr Bartram said: "The results suggest that economic migrants might well experience disappointment. Migrants do gain happiness from higher incomes, to a greater extent than natives -- but the relationship is weak even for migrants. In fact, it also works out that migrants are less happy than natives. The probable reason is that they expect to be happier by virtue of earning the greater incomes available in a wealthy country -- but they end up wanting even more after they get there: aspirations probably increase at least as much as incomes".

The research examined responses from 1400 people in the World Values Survey (existing survey data).

Dr Bartram said that the research might also serve to allay some media fears and people's concerns about being "overrun" by immigrants: "The fact is, most people around the world do not want to move to a wealthy country like the UK: perhaps they understand that money is not the most important thing, that there would be a real price to pay in leaving one's family and community.

Complete study can be accessed at: https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/3837

 

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 Other Articles by d-sector Team in
Global Development  > Global Economy > Employment and Migration

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Global unemployment to persist, says ILO
Wednesday, January 26, 2011


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Monday, April 26, 2010


Report claims 2 lakh Indians live illegally in US
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

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