Personality traits, migration intentions, and cultural distance

Didier Fouarge, Merve Nezihe Özer, Philipp Seegers

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperProfessional

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between Big Five personality traits and individuals' intentions to migrate in countries that vary in their culture. Using data collected from university students in Germany, we find that extraversion and openness are positively associated with migration intentions, while agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability negatively relate to migration intentions. Openness positively and extraversion negatively relate to the willingness to move to culturally distant countries after controlling for geographic distance and economic differences between countries. Using language as a cultural distance indicator provides evidence that extravert and conscientious individuals are less likely to prefer linguistically distant countries while agreeable individuals tend to consider such countries as potential destinations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBonn
PublisherIZA
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

SeriesIZA Discussion Paper Series
Number12444

JEL classifications

  • d91 - "Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving"
  • j61 - "Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers"
  • z10 - Cultural Economics

Keywords

  • migration intentions
  • destination choice
  • cultural distance
  • Big Five personality traits

Cite this

Fouarge, D., Özer, M. N., & Seegers, P. (2019). Personality traits, migration intentions, and cultural distance. IZA. IZA Discussion Paper Series, No. 12444 http://ftp.iza.org/dp12444.pdf