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Journal Article

Life satisfaction of migrants, stayers and returnees: reaping the fruits of migration in old age?


Baykara-Krumme,  Helen
Socio-Cultural Diversity, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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Baykara-Krumme, H. (2018). Life satisfaction of migrants, stayers and returnees: reaping the fruits of migration in old age? Ageing & Society, 38(4), 721-745. doi:10.1017/S0144686X16001227.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-D64A-6
This paper evaluates the effects of migration on life satisfaction in later life. Wecompare the life satisfaction of older migrants with that of non-migrants andreturn migrants of a similar age and originating from the same regions in Turkey.Turks constitute one of the largest migrant groups in Europe, and the growing popu-lation of older Turkish migrants display greater risks of loneliness and material dis-advantage compared to native-born populations in Europe. However, compared totheir non-migrant peers from the country of origin, older migrants may experiencegains from migration that are reflected in their life satisfaction. Using theFamilies Study, a large survey of Turkish migrants from the peak labour migrationperiod and their non-migrant comparators, we investigate whether life satisfactionof migrants and stayers differs and the possible causes of any differences. Wefindthat both migrants and return migrants experience higher life satisfaction in oldage than stayers. However, the gap cannot be explained by the classical determinantsof life satisfaction such as income, health, partner and friends, or religiosity, nor bythe better outcomes of the migrants’children. We discuss possible reasons for thismigration satisfaction advantage