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Natural Experiment Evidence On The Effect Of Migration On Blood Pressure And Hypertension

  • John Gibson
  • Steven Stillman
  • David McKenzie
  • Halahingano Rohorua

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 selfselection 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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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2013)
Issue (Month): 6 (06)
Pages: 655-672

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:22:y:2013:i:6:p:655-672
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," NBER Working Papers 12934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Luca Degli Esposti & Giorgia Valpiani, 2004. "Pharmacoeconomic Burden of Undertreating Hypertension," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(14), pages 907-928.
  3. Joshua Angrist, 2004. "Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Theory and Practice," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 186, Econometric Society.
  4. Stillman, Steven & McKenzie, David & Gibson, John, 2009. "Migration and mental health: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 677-687, May.
  5. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith, 1998. "Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9819, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Johnston, David W & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael, 2007. "Comparing Subjective and Objective Measures of Health: Evidence from Hypertension for the Income/Health Gradient," CEPR Discussion Papers 6270, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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).
  9. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2010. "Does Education Reduce the Risk of Hypertension? Estimating the Biomarker Effect of Compulsory Schooling in England," IZA Discussion Papers 4847, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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.
  12. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, 06.
  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. 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.
  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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