Direkt zum Inhalt

A liberalizing effect of happiness? The impact of improvements and deteriorations in different dimensions of subjective well-being on concerns about immigration

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Fabian Kratz

In: European Sociological Review (online first) (2023),


High levels of concerns about immigration pose a threat to the successful integration of immigrants and may even destabilize heterogeneous societies. This study assesses the mechanisms underlying the association between subjective well-being and concerns about immigration. The analyses rely on the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (1999-2017), a long-running data set that follows individuals over time with a total of 60,319 respondents and 329,556 person-year observations. Individuals who are on average more satisfied with their income, housing situation, and life overall are less concerned about consequences stemming from immigration. The impact of changes in subjective well-being reaches beyond the influence of objective well-being; moreover, if the same individuals become less satisfied with any one of these life dimensions, their concerns about immigration increase. In turn, an increase in satisfaction is followed by a decline of immigration-based concerns. These results imply that political measures that strengthen resilience and foster coping mechanisms are critical to reducing concerns about immigration, cultivating societal integration.

Themen: Wohlbefinden

Keywords: Group conflict theory; attitudes; education; Europe