Intergenerational and Inter-Ethnic Well-Being: An Analysis for the UK

Publication date: 10 Jul 2015 | Publication type: NIESR Discussion Paper | Theme: Employment & Social policy | NIESR Author(s): Dorsett, R; Rienzo, C; Weale, M | JEL Classification: O15, R23, J61 | NIESR Discussion Paper Number: 451

This paper uses a UK nationally representative data set to examine the extent to which family migration history helps explains inter-ethnic variations in subjective well-being. We confirm that there is significant variation in well-being across ethnic group and across migrant generations. On average, recent migrants appear to have higher levels of well-being. We also find that, while language difficulties are associated with lower well-being, retaining cultural links is important: living in areas where one’s own ethnic group is well represented and having friends from the same ethnic group is associated with a higher level of well-being. Individuals’ choice to retain cultural ties and identity may alleviate feelings of cultural distance and difficulties with integration.

Keyword tags: 
ethnic group
subjective well being

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