Assimilation effects on infant mortality among immigrants in Norway
AbstractThe wellbeing of children of immigrant mothers is of great concern worldwide. In this study, we investigate the relationship between infant mortality and maternal country of origin and whether or not this relationship varies with the number of years since maternal migration. We use an extensive dataset consisting of all births in Norway from 1992 to 2010 augmented by source country and other maternal characteristics. By measuring the source country infant mortality rate at the time the mother came to Norway, we are able to account for circumstances in the country the mother left behind. There are two main findings. Firstly, maternal source country characteristics are significantly associated with the infant mortality rate in Norway. Those with a maternal background from countries with a high infant mortality rate (e.g. countries in Africa and Asia) have a persistently higher infant mortality rate than those from countries with a low infant mortality rate (e.g. countries in Europe). Secondly, an assimilation process takes place, since the effect of maternal source country characteristics declines with the number of years since maternal migration. Hence, those with a nonnative maternal background have a higher infant mortality rate upon arrival, but the gap is eliminated after 20 years in Norway. The results cannot be explained by observable characteristics such as maternal age at birth, area of residence, maternal education or marital status.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 741.
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Infant mortality; Immigration; Assimilation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
- I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2013-10-25 (Health Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2013-10-25 (Economics of Human Migration)
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