English title: Immigrant life satisfaction in Europe: the role of social and symbolic boundaries
Author(s): Boris Heizmann - Petra Böhnke -
Type: Journal article
The cross-national investigation of immigrant subjective well-being remains an understudied field, especially with regard to the link between institutional settings and individual outcomes. We approach this gap by investigating the role of policies regulating immigrant integration for life satisfaction. Immigrants’ status and life chances depend on the inclusiveness of integration policies in forms of rights given to immigrants in the receiving country. These policies differentiate immigrants from natives: exclusionary integration policies understood as social boundaries should result in lower levels of well-being. We also consider an alternative policy type (i.e. multicultural policies) as well as symbolic boundaries (i.e. natives’ attitudes towards immigrants). We distinguish between national citizens, EU citizens and third-country nationals (TCNs). Results based on up to five rounds of data from the European Social Survey indicate that in terms of life satisfaction only TCNs profit from inclusive integration policies. Furthermore, while political multiculturalism does not play a role, we find that EU migrants appear more susceptible to the negative impact of natives’ anti-immigrant attitudes. Policy-making is more important for TCNs, while a migrant-friendly opinion climate is more important for EU migrants. These findings are robust to controlling for unobserved time-constant country heterogeneity via country fixed effects.
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Journal: Journal of ethnic and migration studies