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Do Immigrants Bring Good Health?

  • Osea Giuntella
  • Fabrizio Mazzonna

This paper studies the effects of immigration on health. We merge information on individual characteristics from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984-2010) with detailed local labour market characteristics and exploit the longitudinal component of the data to analyse how immigration affects the health of both immigrants and natives over time. Upon their arrival, immigrants are found to be healthier than the natives (healthy immigrant effect), but their health deteriorates over time spent in Germany. We show that the convergence in health is heterogeneous across immigrants and occurs more rapidly among those working in more physically demanding jobs. Immigrants are significantly more likely to work in strenuous occupations. In light of these facts, we investigate whether changes in the spatial concentration of immigrants affect the health of the native population. Our results suggest that immigration reduces the likelihood that residents report negative health outcomes. We show that these effects are concentrated in blue-collar occupations and are larger among low educated natives and previous cohorts of immigrants. The improvement in the average working conditions and workload of natives contributes to explain the positive effect of immigration on the health of the native population.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.464633.de/diw_sp0653.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 653.

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Length: 37 p.
Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp653
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  4. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2012. "Immigrants in Risky Occupations," IZA Discussion Papers 6693, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. David Card, 1990. "The impact of the Mariel boatlift on the Miami labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
  6. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Imperfect Substitution between Immigrants and Natives: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 13887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008. "Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1061-1077, June.
  8. Osea Giuntella, 2012. "Do immigrants squeeze natives out of bad schedules? Evidence from Italy," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
  9. Bonin, Holger, 2005. "Wage and Employment Effects of Immigration to Germany: Evidence from a Skill Group Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 1875, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," NBER Working Papers 12497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Akay, Alpaslan & Constant, Amelie & Giulietti, Corrado, 2014. "The impact of immigration on the well-being of natives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 72-92.
  13. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
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  16. Fabrizio Mazzonna & Franco Peracchi, 2009. "Aging, cognitive abilities and retirement," CEIS Research Paper 152, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 05 Dec 2012.
  17. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Francesco D’Amuri & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "The Labor Market Impact of Immigration in Western Germany in the 1990’s," Working Papers 2008.16, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  18. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration and Wages," Working Papers 91, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  19. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri & Ian Preston, 2005. "The Impact of Immigration on the British Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages F324-F341, November.
  20. Bastian Ravesteijn & Hans van Kippersluis & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2013. "The Wear and Tear on Health: What Is the Role of Occupation?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 618, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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  22. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2006. "Unhealthy assimilation: Why do immigrants converge to American health status levels?," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 337-360, May.
  23. 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.
  24. Richard Burkhauser & Mathis Schroeder, 2007. "Comparing Economic Outcomes of Populations with Disabilities - A Method for Comparing the Economic Outcomes of the Working-Age Population with Disabilities in Germany and United States," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(2), pages 227-258.
  25. D'Amuri, Francesco & Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "The labour market impact of immigration in Western Germany in the 1990's," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-17, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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  31. repec:dgr:uvatin:20130143 is not listed on IDEAS
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