Migration Seminar: Happiness in the daily socio-cultural integration process of immigrants

Dr. Martijn Hendriks , Erasmus University Rotterdam

This edition of our Migration Seminar is based on a forthcoming article by Dr. Martijn Hendriks in the International Migration Review.

This paper studies immigrants’ experiences and obstacles in the daily socio-cultural integration process by examining the underexplored impact of daily integration behaviors on momentary happiness.

By capturing the daily experiences of 213 immigrants from the United States in Germany, Dr. Hendrikj uses a day reconstruction method. His estimates using panel-fixed effects show that immigrants who were not fluent in the host country’s majority language generally felt happier when communicating in their mother tongue, as opposed to the majority language. Moreover, the momentary happiness of less culturally integrated immigrants was negatively affected by interacting with majority group members. By contrast, immigrants’ enduring happiness is positively related to socio-cultural integration.

The results suggest that socio-cultural integration is an investment involving short-term costs to happiness. For instance, the cost to momentary happiness of speaking the majority language and, to a lesser extent, interacting with majority group members. Understandings short-term costs of immigrants’ integration struggles and related outcomes may improve sociocultural integration trajectories. Furthermore, it may help us to decrease those costs.

About the speaker

Martijn Hendriks is a senior researcher at the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization (EHERO) and an assistant professor of happiness economics at the Department of Applied Economics of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Happiness Studies and as an executive board member at the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS). His research focuses on the causes and consequences of happiness, particularly in relation to migration, work, and economic behavior.

The seminar will take place on Zoom, via the following link.

Please note that this seminar will be recorded and live streamed via YouTube as well.

You can find the previous Migration Seminars at UNU-MERIT's Youtube Channel. 

For further information, please contact Laura Cleton (convenor of the seminar series, on behalf of UNU-MERIT & MACIMIDE): laura.cleton@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Venue: Zoom: https://unu-merit-eu.zoom.us/j/85299155773?pwd=NGdnVEdXZXFuU0pCREhaam1NOHRWdz09

Date: 05 April 2023

Time: 16:00 - 17:00  CET