In this study we use data on subjective well being and migration of family
members in Cuenca, one of Ecuador's largest cities, to examine the impact of migration
on the happiness of the family left behind. While a cursory examination of the
data suggests that the heads of households that have experienced the migration of
one or more family members are less happy, a more careful analysis reveals otherwise.
Households that have been impacted by migration express equal levels of happiness
as those households that have not been affected by migration. One plausible
explanation for our finding is that the remittances that households receive following
the migration of loved ones counteract the downsides to family emigration.
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