Migration, gender, wages and wellbeing: Who gains and in which ways?

Empirical studies have consistently documented that while married men tend to lead more prosperous careers after moving, migration tends to be disruptive for careers of married women. We extend this literature by exploring whether migration is followed by a change in subjective wellbeing (SWB). We examine how this experience differs by individuals of different gender, relationship-status and motivations for moving (of both partners in a couple relationship, where relevant). The results are compared to wage differences following migration. All results are conditioned on time-varying personal characteristics, including important life events. Consistent with prior literature, males have a stronger tendency than females to increase their earnings after moving. However, we find that females have a stronger tendency than males to increase their SWB following a move. These gender differences are pronounced for couples. Differences tend to narrow, but do not disappear, once we account for motivations for moving of individuals and, where relevant, of their partner.


Preston, Kate & Arthur Grimes. “Migration, gender, wages and wellbeing: Who gains and in which ways?” Social Indicators Research, January 2019, DOI: 10.1007/s11205-019-02079-y

This topic in other formats

Working Paper

Migration and Gender: Who Gains and in Which Ways? (2017)


Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand