A rolling stone gathers no moss? Residential mobility among ethnic minorities in Germany and its consequences for well-being (WELLMOB)


This study sets out to study residential mobility and its consequences for subjective wellbeing among ethnic minorities in Germany. As integration and social upward mobility increase, so does the desire for residency in affluent suburban neighborhoods and home ownership. At the same time, research suggests that ethno-religious community embeddedness may act as a bedrock of a high quality of living among persons of immigrant origin. We therefore intent to study the subjective well-being of persons of immigrant origin living in (suburban) mainstream neighborhoods vis-á-vis those residing in ethno-religious communities, with a special interest in studying those who have actually moved between neighborhoods. To explain potential well-being effects of moving to a new neighborhood, we expand the fundamental model of subjective wellbeing and its social drivers by three types of neighborhood qualities (general neighborhood resources, ethno-religious community resources, and discrimination) which should matter particularly to persons of immigrant origin. We aim to test the expanded model with a cross- sectional analysis of neighborhood effects based on the Socio- Economic Panel (SOEP) and a longitudinal differences-in-differences analysis of SOEP respondents of immigrant origin who relocated. Furthermore, a novel set of indicators of ethno-religious community infrastructures allows us to conduct more detailed analyses than previous studies.