The Right Choice? Immigrants’ Life Satisfaction in Europe
It is planned to analyze what influences the subjective quality of life – defined as satisfaction with life – of migrants in Europe and if countries offer good conditions in this regard for some migrants while offering unfavourable ones for others. Life satisfaction is modelled as the outcome of an evaluation of the direct living conditions by the individuals using a distinct standard of evaluation. This standard of evaluation depends for example on the cultural imprint, significant others and individual preferences. Therefore, the life satisfaction of population groups can vary although they face equal living conditions due to varying standards of evaluation. The living conditions of migrants, in turn, are being influenced by the structural and cultural arrangements of the society: e.g. the welfare state regime or general attitudes towards immigrants. In light of the increasing international competition for skilled personnel this project can help to evaluate the attractiveness of immigration countries more precisely. First of all, internationally comparable data will be used and in a second step more detailed analyses will be based on appropriate national data sets.
In 2013, the major focal points of our research were on migrants’ income satisfaction as well as the school satisfaction of students with a migrant background. We presented and discussed our results at the XI ISQOLS Conference in Venice, the international conference on “Migration and Well-Being: Research Frontiers” in Tel Aviv, the ISA RC28 Spring Meeting in Trento, and the ECSR Conference in Tilburg. The paper on migrants’ income satisfaction will be submitted for publication in early 2014. Furthermore, the dissertation of research assistant Manuel Siegert on the life satisfaction of migrants in western Germany was published in 2013.