Subjective Well-Being and Immigration

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-4-23-36

I. Tsapenko, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (


Immigration has an ambiguous effect on the subjective well-being (SWB) of receiving societies. Being small, it is rather positive. This conclusion is preliminary and requires further investigations, which corresponds to results of numerous studies of the immigration impact on the objective well-being of people in more developed countries. According to these studies, some social groups, mainly low qualified workers, suffer from immigration facing the risks of rising unemployment and lowering incomes. Besides, the increase of the foreign born population with different cultural background originates threats to national identities of natives. At the same time, the inflow of foreigners improves economic performance and as a rule contributes to ameliorating of work and life conditions for the population majority in the receiving countries. The rise of the objective well-being of large social groups, both taking place and being expected, in comparison with its previous indices and with other groups, including immigrants, is refracted in indicators of SWB. Such positive effect was revealed in some recent studies. The conclusion of a positive impact of immigration on SWB in receiving societies looks like a paradox amid a negative public opinion about immigration, demonstrated in street protests against the assault of identities of different cultural backgrounds and in electoral support of anti-immigrant political parties. Nevertheless, such negativism is, first of all, peculiar for the assessments of national sequences of immigration. And these assessments are based on warped perceptions of the scale and impact of the foreign born population flow, being influenced by external factors. Besides, the influence of national assessments on life satisfaction and feeling of happiness is very small. Meanwhile, the public image of the immigration impact on personal life, life of family members and of the home town, which is based on personal experience and more adequate knowledge of local processes, is less critical and more favorable. As opposed to national assessments, the effect of such natives' perception of the immigration micro-social effects on their SWB is much more important. (This is mainly due to a higher significance for SWB of current developments in peoples' personal life and in their immediate social environment, compared to macro-social issues).


subjective well-being, life satisfaction, feeling of happiness, life and work conditions, immigration, public opinion, native population, foreign born population


Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Tsapenko I. Subjective Well-Being and Immigration . Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2015, No 4, pp. 23-36.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment

Current Issue
2021, vol. 65, No. 7

Topical Themes of the Issue:

  •  Second Century of the Communist Party of China and New Bipolarity 
  •  Macroeconomic Policy at a Crossroads  
  •  Regulatory Autonomy of Great Britain: Problems and Perspectives 
  •  At Post-Soviet Space
View This Issue (2021, vol. 65, No. 7)
Submit an Article
Dear authors!
In order to avoid the multiplicity of copyright profiles and to unambiguously identify your works in the international and domestic databases of scientific citation while submitting manuscripts to our journal please specify your ORCID.

Dear readers!
Please note that free access to full-text issues of the Journal is being opened at our WEB-site after 6 months of the date of publications.The work on deepening the open archive of full-text issues will be continued.

Dear colleagues, authors and readers!
We kindly request you to turn to editor-in-chief and executive secretary directly concerning reviewing scientific publications in our journal. Only editor-in-chief takes decision on order and publication the reviews!

Dear readers!
This is to inform the researchers of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations that electronic versions of the IV issue of 2020 and I issue of 2021 of French magazine Politique étrangère are now available. Those who are interested, please personally address to the editorial staff of MEMO Journal (room 18-17) with an electronic media.

In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“World Energy Sector after Pandemic”. We plan to publish articles presenting in-depth analysis of influence of Pandemic on the global energy sector and forecasts of further developments in its various branches.

“Civilization processes of modern development” is a new rubric opened by MEMO Journal in 2020. It will be devoted to the analysis of the influence of civilizational factors and inter-civilizational interactions on the political and socio-economic development of the world at whole, regions and countries.

“Africa today and tomorrow”The rubric devoted to contemporary issues of Africa which is attracting growing interest of the world's leading actors. We plan to publish the articles analyzing the status of statehood, socio-economic and political development of the countries of Black continent, as well as the integration processes between them.


"World Eсonomy and International Relations" announces a contest for the best joint academic publications of domestic and foreign researchers and experts in topical issues of the world economy and international relations. The winners will be selected according to the results of peer reviewing and discussion at the Editorial Board. The articles will be published in priority order.


The print version of “World Economy and International Relations” journal is distributed by advance subscription only, and is not offered for retail sale. To subscribe please address to any post office in Russia by referring to the Federal Postal Service Union Catalogue, section “ARSMI”, the journal index is 70542. The subscription may be made for the whole subscription period or starting from any nearest available month for desired number of issues.

To purchase the full-text electronic version of the journal’s issue/article please address to the WEB portal of Scientific electronic library or URL:

In journal
2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

The author’s opinions may not coincide with the position of editorial