In my dissertation, I analyse the effect of migrant-open climate on immigrant location choice: Do immigrants prefer regions in which people are generally more open towards immigrants and immigration? I argue that to maximise well-being, immigrants reduce their risk of facing discrimination by choosing regions of residence in which migrant-open climate is higher.To capture revealed preferences, migrant-open climate is a voter-weighted measure of party positions on immigrants and immigration.
The work in progress I present at the brown bag seminar focuses on the third empirical chapter, which adds an individual analysis of immigrant location choice in Germany, and tests if immigrants' life satisfaction does depend on migrant-open climate. The SOEP sample consists of both direct and indirect immigrants. Explaining variation in immigrants' moving behaviour, I estimate linear probability models with county and year dummies. I find that the migrant-open climate in a county has a positive pull effect on an immigrant's choice of her or his new location of residence. Secondly, I find a significant negative effect of migrant-open climate on immigrants' life satisfaction, which contradicts my theoretical expectation. That result is driven by immigrants who have never moved, by immigrants with an indirect migration background, and by immigrants who have German citizenship.
Since people's experienced discrimination partly depends on their ethnicity, I compare effects on both moving probability and life satisfaction for different ethnic groups, and test for threshold effects of migrant-open climate on life satisfaction.
I am interested in general feedback, but would also appreciate your input on modeling ethnicity with SOEP data. To this end, the presentation also includes a SOEP-specific technical section.