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Natural Experiment Evidence on the Effect of Migration on Blood Pressure and Hypertension

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Author Info

  • Gibson, John

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

  • Stillman, Steven

    ()
    (University of Otago)

  • McKenzie, David

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • Rohorua, Halahingano

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

Abstract

Over 200 million people live outside their country of birth and experience large gains in material well-being by moving to where wages are higher. But the effect of this migration on health is less clear and existing evidence is ambiguous because of the potential for self-selection bias. In this paper, we use a natural experiment, comparing successful and unsuccessful applicants to a migration lottery to experimentally estimate the impact of migration on measured blood pressure and hypertension. Hypertension is a leading global health problem, as well as being an important health measure that responds quickly to migration. We use various econometric estimators to form bounds on the treatment effects since there appears to be selective non-compliance in the natural experiment. Even with these bounds the results suggest significant and persistent increases in blood pressure and hypertension, which have implications for future health budgets given the recent worldwide increases in immigration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5232.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Health Economics, 2013, 22 (6), 655-672
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5232

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Keywords: blood pressure; hypertension; lottery; migration; natural experiment;

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References

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  1. Mikael Lindahl, 2005. "Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as an Exogenous Source of Variation in Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 792, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Steven Stillman & John Gibson & David Mckenzie, 2012. "The Impact Of Immigration On Child Health: Experimental Evidence From A Migration Lottery Program," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 62-81, 01.
  4. Stillman, Steven & McKenzie, David & Gibson, John, 2007. "Migration and mental health : evidence from a natural experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4138, The World Bank.
  5. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith & Michael Khoo, 2000. "Substitution And Dropout Bias In Social Experiments: A Study Of An Influential Social Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 651-694, May.
  6. David McKenzie & Steven Stillman & John Gibson, 2010. "How Important is Selection? Experimental VS. Non‐Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, 06.
  7. Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Comparing Subjective and Objective Measures of Health: Evidence from Hypertension for the Income/Health Gradient," IZA Discussion Papers 2737, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Joshua D. Angrist, 2004. "Treatment effect heterogeneity in theory and practice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C52-C83, 03.
  9. Luca Degli Esposti & Giorgia Valpiani, 2004. "Pharmacoeconomic Burden of Undertreating Hypertension," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(14), pages 907-928.
  10. Steven Kennedy & James Ted McDonald & Nicholas Biddle, 2006. "The Healthy Immigrant Effect and Immigrant Selection: Evidence from Four Countries," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 164, McMaster University.
  11. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2010. "Does Education Reduce the Risk of Hypertension? Estimating the Biomarker Effect of Compulsory Schooling in England," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 173-202.
  12. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael A. Clemens & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "Income per Natural: Measuring Development for People Rather Than Places," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(3), pages 395-434.
  14. Paul Frijters, 2005. "The causal effect of income on health: Evidence from German reunification," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2005-2, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  15. Yaël Tibi-Levy & Gérard Pouvourville & Jérémie Westerloppe & Marion Bamberger, 2008. "The cost of treating high blood pressure in general practice in France," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 229-236, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Steven Stillman & John Gibson & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua, 2012. "Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1228, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Farré, Lídia, 2013. "New Evidence on the Healthy Immigrant Effect," IZA Discussion Papers 7840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. David McKenzie, 2012. "Learning about migration through experiments," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1207, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. John Gibson & Riccardo Scarpa & Halahingano Rohorua, 2013. "Respiratory Health of Pacific Island Immigrants and Preferences for Indoor Air Quality Determinants in New Zealand," Working Papers in Economics 13/09, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  5. Baldwin, Kate & Bhavnani, Rikhil R., 2013. "Ancillary experiments: Opportunities and challenges," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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