Sense of belonging, international migrants’ spending, and implications for their subjective well-being

Haiming Hang, Jing Yang Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A lack of a sense of belonging in the host country has become one of the most common challenges facing international migrants in today’s sociopolitical environment. Our two online experiments with 881 international migrant workers in the United States jointly demonstrate that, to cope with their lack of a sense of belonging in the host country, international migrants may spend money suboptimally: more on material purchases but less on experiential and prosocial purchases. More importantly, our studies suggest that prosocial purchases are more effective than experiential purchases in increasing international migrants’ subjective well-being. This is because prosocial purchases can lead to both relatedness need satisfaction and beneficence, with each independently contributing to international migrants’ subjective well-being. Our research suggests that public policymakers should address the social exclusion international migrants experience when moving to a new country because it can have a negative impact on their subjective well-being. Our research further suggests that one way to mitigate social exclusion is to encourage international migrants to spend money on others rather than themselves.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal Of Consumer Studies
Early online date21 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Mar 2022

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