Working Paper

The Well-Being of Nations: Estimating Welfare from International Migration

Abstract: The limitations of GDP as a measure of welfare are well known. We propose a new method of estimating the well-being of nations. Using gross bilateral international migration flows and a discrete choice model in which everyone in the world chooses a country in which to live, we estimate each country?s overall quality of life. Our estimates, by relying on revealed preference, complement previous estimates of economic well-being that consider only income or a small number of factors, or rely on structural assumptions about how these factors contribute to wellbeing.

Keywords: International migration; quality of life; GDP;

JEL Classification: D63; F22; I31; J61;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2020-01-14

Number: 19-33

Note: Revised January 2020