Vol.8, No.2 | [Article] Does Migration Improve Subjective Economic Well-being? An Empirical Study on Migrants from MENA Countries



The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effects of migration from Middle Eastern countries, during the 1990s, on individual perceptions of migrant
households’ subjective economic well-being. We consider data from household surveys conducted in Egypt, Turkey and Morocco in 1997. Using probit models, first we analyze the characteristics of migrants, secondly we determine the impact of migration on current subjective poverty, and thirdly we analyze to what extent the returns from migration are heterogeneous according to the individual's financial perception. We find that the effects of migration on financial situation vary according to the country: in Morocco migration reduces subjective poverty for the less educated long term migrants, and in Egypt only for return migrants. Surprisingly, in Turkey, migration increases subjective poverty especially for highly educated migrants. These results imply that migration cannot be treated as a homogenous phenomenon, as migration may impact differently on different countries of origin.

Keywords: Migration, Subjective poverty, MENA Countries, Development, Remittances