Milena Nikolova

  • Current position:
    Research Associate, IZA
  • Positions/functions as policy advisor:
    Short-term consultant, Illicit Financial Flows Project, the World Bank, Washington, DC
  • Research interest:
    Subjective well-being, migration, and transition economies
  • Website:
  • Affiliations:
    IZA, Germany, and Brookings Institution, USA
  • Past positions:
    Nonresident Intern and Researcher, The Brookings Institution, 2012–2014; Emerging Scholar, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Urban Institute, 2010–2011; Policy Analyst, Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation, 2008–2009
  • Qualifications:
    PhD Public Policy, University of Maryland, 2014
  • Personal statement about IZA World of Labor:
    I am proud and deeply honoured to be a part of the IZA World of Labor Project. IZA World of Labor provides policymakers, academics, and the general public with excellent state-of-the-art research summaries and policy advice on a variety of topics in labor economics
  • Selected publications:
    • “In transit: The well-being of migrants from transition and post-transition countries.” Journal of Economic Behaviour & Organization 112 (2015): 164–186 (with C. Graham).
    • “Bentham or Aristotle in the development process? An empirical investigation of capabilities and subjective well-being.” World Development 68:0 (2015): 163–179 (with C. Graham).
    • “Government funding of private voluntary organizations: Is there a crowding-out effect?” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 44:3 (2015): 487–509.
    • “Employment, late-life work, retirement, and well-being in Europe and the United States.” IZA Journal of European Labor Studies 3:5 (2014): 1–30 (with C. Graham).
    • “Principals and agents: An investigation of executive compensation in human service nonprofits.” VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 25:3 (2014): 679–706.
  • Articles

Migrant well-being after leaving transition economies

Evidence is mixed on whether quality of life improves for migrants from post-socialist economies

October 2015

10.15185/izawol.195 195

by Milena Nikolova Nikolova, M

Most comparative research suggests that immigrants from post-socialist countries earn less than natives, work in jobs for which they are overqualified, and may experience unhappiness compared with natives, other immigrants, and non-migrants. In contrast, one study presents causal evidence which shows that moving from transition economies to live in the West increases the incomes, life satisfaction, and freedom perceptions of those who move. Credibly assessing whether leaving transition economies improves movers’ quality of life remains a challenging empirical question.