Migrant Worker Well-Being and Its Determinants: The Case of Qatar
MetadataShow full item record
Despite significant media attention and criticism, we know very little about the living and working conditions of low-income migrants in the Arab Gulf states, how migrants themselves view these conditions, or what factors most shape migrant worker well-being. Utilizing data from a unique, nationally representative survey of migrant workers living in labor camps in Qatar, this paper uses subjective and objective indicators to provide a more complete picture of migrant worker well-being and its determinants. We create a composite score of well-being based on migrant worker satisfaction with their job, human rights, salary, company treatment, and medical care. We then utilize ordinary least square to examine the degree to which migrant well-being is shaped by demographic characteristics, contract honoring, salary and debt levels, working conditions, human rights, and living conditions. Results identify contract-related issues as the strongest determinant of well-being, including whether a contract was honored, whether a copy of the contract was provided, and whether the details of employment in the contract were clear. More broadly, our results point to workers having low levels of overall awareness of their legal rights under existing Gulf labor law. Migrant worker well-being can thus be improved by raising this awareness and enforcing existing laws.
- Social & Economic Survey Research Institute Research [194 items ]