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Return Migration and the "Healthy Immigrant Effect"

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  • Monika Sander
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    Abstract

    According to the "healthy immigrant effect" (HIE), immigrants upon arrival are healthier than locally born residents. However, this health advantage is supposed to diminish or even disappear over a relatively short period and the immigrants' health status is converging to that of the natives. The causes for this gradient of immigrants' health are subject to an ongoing discussion and the underlying trajectories are not yet fully understood. This paper investigates whether return migration can serve as an additional explanation for the declining health of immigrants, and thus aims at shedding some light on the trajectories underlying the HIE. The data used are drawn from 13 waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel. Using a random-effects probit model, this analysis explores the factors influencing re-migration by means of a sample of 4,426 migrants. In line with the existing literature, the study shows that e.g. having spouse and children in the home country, or being non-working or jobless yield a higher return probability, whereas all factors associated with attachment to Germany (e.g. language fluency, German citizenship, house ownership) reduce the probability of re-migration. Additionally, the results indicate that men reporting poorer health ('good', 'satisfactory', 'poor' or 'bad') are significantly less likely to return home relative to male immigrants who describe their health as 'very good'. However, for women, the effects are adverse to that of men, and none of the health coefficients for women is significant. Hence - at least for men - re-migration can be seen as an additional explanation for the HIE.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.74655.de/diw_sp0060.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 60.

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    Length: 37 p.
    Date of creation: 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp60

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    Keywords: Return migration; healthy immigrant effect; SOEP;

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    References

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    1. Christian Dustmann, 2003. "Children and return migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 815-830, November.
    2. Amelie Constant & Douglas S. Massey, 2003. "Self-selection, earnings, and out-migration: A longitudinal study of immigrants to Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 631-653, November.
    3. Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Return Migration, Wage Differentials, and the Optimal Migration Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 264, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Guillermina Jasso & Douglas S. Massey & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2004. "Immigrant health: selectivity and acculturation," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W04/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. Nicholas Biddle & Steven Kennedy & James Ted Mcdonald, 2007. "Health Assimilation Patterns Amongst Australian Immigrants," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(260), pages 16-30, 03.
    6. Bruce Newbold, K., 2005. "Self-rated health within the Canadian immigrant population: risk and the healthy immigrant effect," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 1359-1370, March.
    7. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & van Praag, Bernard M. S., 2003. "Income Satisfaction Inequality and its Causes," IZA Discussion Papers 854, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    9. Mireille Laroche, 2000. "Health Status and Health Services Utilization of Canada's Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Populations," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(1), pages 51-75, March.
    10. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2006. "Immigrant Selection Systems and Immigrant Health," IZA Discussion Papers 2345, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Thomas Lampert & Lars Eric Kroll, 2005. "Einfluss der Einkommensposition auf die Gesundheit und Lebenserwartung," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 527, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    12. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
    13. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
    14. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
    15. McDonald, James Ted & Kennedy, Steven, 2004. "Insights into the 'healthy immigrant effect': health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 1613-1627, October.
    16. Wei-Yin Hu, 2000. "Immigrant Earnings Assimilation: Estimates from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 368-372, May.
    17. Djajic, Slobodan & Milbourne, Ross, 1988. "A general equilibrium model of guest-worker migration : The source-country perspective," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 335-351, November.
    18. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
    19. Elke Holst & Dean R. Lillard & Thomas A. DiPrete, 2001. "Proceedings of the 2000 Fourth International Conference of German Socio-Economic Panel Study Users (GSOEP 2000): Editorial Introduction," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(1), pages 5-6.
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    Cited by:
    1. Lu, Yao & Qin, Lijian, 2014. "Healthy migrant and salmon bias hypotheses: A study of health and internal migration in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 41-48.
    2. Christian Dustmann & Joseph-Simon Görlach, 2014. "Selective Outmigration and the Estimation of Immigrants’ Earnings Profiles," Norface Discussion Paper Series, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London 2014002, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.

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