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Are immigrants healthier than native residents?

Author

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  • Shoshana Neuman

    (Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and IZA, Germany)

Abstract

In common anti-immigrant rhetoric, concerns are raised that immigrants bring diseases with them to the host country that threaten the health of the resident population. In reality, extensive empirical research over several decades and across multiple regions and host countries has documented that when immigrants arrive in the host country they are healthier than native residents, a phenomenon termed the "healthy immigrant effect." This initial advantage deteriorates with time spent in the host country, however, and immigrants' health status converges toward (or below) that of native residents.

Suggested Citation

  • Shoshana Neuman, 2014. "Are immigrants healthier than native residents?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 108-108, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izawol:journl:y:2014:n:108
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2006. "Unhealthy assimilation: Why do immigrants converge to American health status levels?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(2), pages 337-360, May.
    2. Shoshana Neuman & Tzahi Neuman & Teresa García-Muñoz, 2014. "Health Risk Factors among the Older European Populations: Personal and Country Effects," Working Papers 2014-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. Giuntella, Osea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "Do Immigrants Bring Good Health?," IZA Discussion Papers 8073, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2009. "Do immigrants work in riskier jobs?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(3), pages 535-551, August.
    6. Grove, Natalie J. & Zwi, Anthony B., 2006. "Our health and theirs: Forced migration, othering, and public health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 1931-1942, April.
    7. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2008. "Immigrant Selection Systems And Immigrant Health," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 555-578, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Constant, Amelie F. & García-Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana & Neuman, Tzahi, 2014. "Micro and Macro Determinants of Health: Older Immigrants in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 8754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Amelie F. Constant & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Tzahi Neuman, 2018. "A “healthy immigrant effect” or a “sick immigrant effect”? Selection and policies matter," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(1), pages 103-121, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; natives; health; healthy immigrant effect; selectivity; acculturation; self-assessed health status;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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