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Behind the open sea somewhere there is the land of my dreams : happiness among immigrants in Europe. Olli Kangas Research Director, Social Insurance Institution of Finland Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Southern Denmark. WHY HAPPINESS AND IMMIGRANTS.

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behind the open sea somewhere there is the land of my dreams happiness among immigrants in europe

Behind the open seasomewherethere is the land of my dreams: happinessamongimmigrants in Europe

Olli Kangas

Research Director, Social Insurance Institution of Finland

Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Southern Denmark

why happiness and immigrants
WHY HAPPINESS AND IMMIGRANTS
  • The allusions in the title fits very well to my position as a H. C. Andersen Professor in the happy country of Denmark
  • Klaus Petersen, my Danish colleague, once asked me whether a Finn becomes more happy when s/he moves to Denmark -- the country often depicted to be the happiest country in the world.
  • The study is a humble attempt to answer Klaus’ inquiry.
contents
Contents
  • Whylife-satisfaction and happiness?
  • Data
  • Happyimmigrants live in happycountries
  • Welfarestateregimematters
  • What is the new Sampo
  • Conclusion: A personalstatement
two traditions of welfare research
Two traditions of welfare research
  • Objective measures
    • Resources: GDP, income, poverty, level of education, employment etc.matter
    • No interest in feelings
    • E.g. The Swedish level of living surveys
      • Resurces: money, education, employment, family etc…
  • Subjective measures
    • Interest in end-status; feelings matter
    • Finnish Erik Allardt’s having, loving and being
    • EU statistics provide more and more data on subjective welfare
    • Happiness is cool even for the hard-boiled economists
happiness a real thing
Happiness – a realthing?
  • Some argue that happiness is not a real thing and not a proper object for scientific inquiry
  • Psychologists, armed with fancy brain probing devices, argue that happiness is electric activity in the frontal part of the brains
  • From the social science point of view:
    • which kind of social phenomena cause positive electric waves in ourbrains
in kalevela the finnish national epos
In Kalevela, the Finnish national epos...
  • There is a story about the SAMPO
  • a happiness and wealth generating magicaldevice
  • Made by the black-smith Ilmarinen
    • Paintingby Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 1893
but as usually
But, as usually

a fight about the ownership of such a useful device immediately began

in the following fight the Sampo, unluckily enough, was lost to the sea bottom

never has it been found again

Akseli Gallen-Kallela 1896

therefore
Therefore...
  • There is a constantseekaftercompensatorymeasures for Sampo

- at home and more and moreabroad

  • In this presentation I will look at someofthosemeasuresthatcontributetohappiness and lifesatisfactionamongimmigants in Europe:
    • The regimesofhappinessamong the Europeancountries in the 2000s
    • Who is happy and who is less happy?
    • Howcanweexplainhappiness?
    • Whichfactorscontributetohappiness in Europe?
slide9
Data
  • European Social Survey (ESS)
  • Since 2002 the ESS has been carried out at two-year intervals
    • http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org
  • The latest year of observation used in this study was 2010.
  • The size of the cross-sectional data varies from the low 579 in Iceland (2004) to the sample size of 3 032 in Germany in 2010.
slide10

In the individual waves, the number of immigrants in most countries is too low for reliable statistical analyses.

  • Data for different years are pooled
    • 17 837 observations on immigrants in 28 countries.
    • The smallest sample is from Bulgaria
      • 50 observations
    • the largest one, the Swiss sample, contains 1 886 immigrants
  • Immigrant status is attached to each respondent born outside the country of residence
furthermore
Furthermore
  • Countriescollapsed into welfareregimes
  • Nordic
    • Den, Fin, Nor, Swe
  • Central European
    • Aut, Bel, Fra, Ger, Lux, Nl, Swi
  • Anglo-American
    • Ire, UK
  • Southern European
    • Cyp, Gre, Ita, Por, Spa
  • Post-socialst
    • Bul, Cro, Cze, Est, Hun, Lat, Pol, Rus, Slove, Sla, Ukr
happiness life satisfaction
Happiness & life-satisfaction
  • two indicators for subjective well-being in the ESS.
  • a) Happiness: “How happy are you?”
  • b) Life satisfaction: “How satisfied you are with your life as a whole?”
    • The respondents could express their happiness on a continuous scale that runs from 0 ‘extremely unhappy’ to 10 ‘extremely happy’.
    • Here subjective well-being = (a+b)/2
strong correlation between life satisfaction and happiness
Strongcorrelationbetweenlife-satisfaction and happiness
  • To gain a more robust measure for subjective well-being, the two variables were merged
  • (happiness + life satisfaction)/2.
    • 0 = very unhappy
    • 10 = very happy
money and happiness
Money and happiness
  • - somecorrelationbetween GDP per capita and happiness
  • - buthugedifferencesbetweencountries at the sameprosperitylevel (eg EST vs. CYP)
  • - Money mattersbutinstitutionsrule
is everybody the black smith of his her own happiness
Whatare the elements of Ilmarinen’smodern SAMPO?

Equalsociety for all

High (inter-generational) incomemobility

Lowlevel of poverty

Adequatesafetynet in allrespects

Non-corruptinstitutions ->

Highlevel of trust

Macro levelcharacteristicsexplainmorethanindividuallevelvariables

Is everybody the black-smithofhis/herownhappiness?
land of fairy tales to be an immigrant and happy
Land offairy tales: to be an immigrant and happy

“Behind the open sea, somewhere thereis the Land of my dreams,But without wings I can't flyand prisoner I'm of the groundBut in my dreams,Which fly so highI walk there every night…”

  • Unto Mononen’s tango ”The land ofmy dreams” (1956)