The Road to Integration: Post-Migration Experience and Migrant Housing Behavior in Singapore
32 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2021
Date Written: December 30, 2020
This study investigates the impact of migrants’ post-migration experiences on their integration and housing behaviors. Collaborating with a local town council, we surveyed 1,128 households living in Singapore public housing estates and constructed instrumental variables to resolve identification problems. Two sets of empirical findings are established. First, migrants with more extended periods of post-migration residency demonstrate higher integration levels, both spatially and socially. With 1 more year of residency, migrant renters select housing in areas up to 3.01% farther from their workplace, physically and spatially making a way into the host society. Migrant homeowners show stronger social integration than migrant renters, based on both subjective and objective social integration measures. Second, in the public open rental housing market, where migrants in their early post-migration years typically reside, migrant renters pay rents that are lower by up to 0.67% with 1 more year of post-migration residency. A further test shows that a more extended post-migration residency period increases a migrant’s housing search and bargaining power for lower rent due to integration. Our empirical evidence indicates the significance of early years’ post-migration experiences in shaping integration and the importance of integration policy in assisting new migrants.
Keywords: Post-migration experience, social and spatial integration, housing behavior, rent, search and bargaining power
JEL Classification: J15, R21, R23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation