Participation in socio‑cultural activities and subjective well‑being of natives and migrants: evidence from Germany and the UK

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

December 15, 2021


Within the diverse populations characterizing the modern society, it is essential to explore the experiences of multicultural individuals and their subjective well-being. The aim of this study is to explore the participation of migrants in socio-cultural activities related to arts, theatre, concerts and sports events and its role in their subjective well-being (SWB). The empirical analysis relies on data derived from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) Survey over the period 1984–2017 and the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) covering the period 2010–2013. We apply panel data models to explore and compare the impact of the participation in socio-cultural activities on subjective well-being between first-generation immigrants and natives. Furthermore, based on the available information, we extend the analysis to consider the 2.5 and second-generation immigrants. The findings show that first-generation immigrants report lower levels of SWB compared to natives. We find no differences in the SWB between natives and the 2.5 generation migrants in Germany, while second-generation migrants report on average higher levels of SWB than natives do. On the other hand, all migrant generations we explore in the UK present lower levels of SWB, while participation in socio-cultural activities improves the SWB of both natives and migrants. Moreover, our findings suggest that socio-cultural participation reduces the SWB gap between natives and immigrants, indicating that socio-cultural integration can be an alternative policy of creating inclusive, secure and happier communities.

Published in

International Review of Economics

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 68 , p.423 -463









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