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Impact of migration policies on socio-cultural participation and well-being: evidence from the Migration Act of 2000 in Germany

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science

Eleftherios Giovanis

In: Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences (online first) (2022),


Purpose: Countries have implemented various migration policies targeting the migrants' economic and political integration and social inclusion. However, little is known about the impact of migration policies on migrants' participation in socio-cultural activities and their link with well-being. The first aim of this study is to explore the effect of the Migration Act of 2000 in Germany on participation in socio-cultural activities of first-generation migrants. The second aim is to examine the impact of socio-cultural activities on subjective well-being (SWB), measured by life satisfaction, and how it is compared between first-generation immigrants and natives. Design/methodology/approach: The Migration Act of 2000 was extended in 2005 to provide permanent residence permits to high-skilled migrants and deliver cultural orientation and German language courses. The author will implement a Difference-in-Differences (DiD) methodology comparing the relationship between socio-cultural participation and SWB of first-generation immigrants and natives. Findings: The results show that while first-generation immigrants participate less frequently in the socio-cultural activities explored, they experience an increase in participation after the implementation of the 2000 Migration Act. Furthermore, migrants report lower levels of SWB than natives, but their life satisfaction significantly improves with the increase in socio-cultural participation. Social implications: The findings of this study have implications for researchers and policymakers, such as income, education and employment promoting migrant integration. Providing employment opportunities and a permanent residence permit, cultural participation, and thus, the integration of migrants can be successfully achieved. Originality/value: While there is a long debate about the effectiveness of migration integration policies, this is the first study investigating the effect of the Migration Act of 2000 on migrants' socio-cultural participation and well-being.

Keywords: Cultural participation, First-generation immigrants, International migration, Panel data, Subjective well-being